I have to warn you about this video: it's full of intrigue and tension. You have to watch with a hand nearly over one eye, as you can see that the slippery feet of Mario could nearly lead him to doom or land him in the clear. It's an intense bit of media that last all of just under nine minutes of your life.
The video is an addictive bit of propaganda, showcasing what a bit of thumb-acrobatics and timing can achieve in one of the most difficult 8-bit platformers ever released.
It was tough for me to sit through some parts as I was about ready to believe that it was all over. I mean, there's that natural inclination when you see a video like that to yell at the screen “Jump! Darn-it, JUMP!” only to have NotEntirelySure stand; wait; deliberate his next move and move only when the move was the right move to make.
These kind of speed runs aren't isolated cases, but this particular case is one that really stood out because of how difficult it is not to finish Super Mario Bros., with anything less than a 1,000 points. I mean, every coin you get, every head you bop, every block you break, every star you grab and every mushroom you eat is a measure of success you can't take away, a culmination of points you can't take back and a collection of progress you can't get rid of. Finishing the game with only 500 points is certainly no easy feat for anyone to achieve.
As mentioned by NotEntirelySure in the description of the video...
“This is THE lowest possible score you can finish the game with (without continuing). And surprisingly, it didn't take very long at all. Sadly, it's not deathless, as I miss my first attempt at the 8-1 wall jump. Getting 500 points without dying would have been nice, but that jump is so brutally precise I'd rather not restart every time I missed it (though I would have to restart anyway if I accidentally picked up a coin).”
What precision, what prescience, what amazing finger ballet.
I steer clear of many of the old retro 8-bit titles. A few friends still love them but I can't muster the patience or lack of frustration required to play the games and succeed beyond a handful of levels that may potentially result in red-thumbed hands and broken controllers.
There's no lack of “impossible” skill videos on the interwebs for video games, including lag-infested kills like the one involving the knife throw in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or the double-kill of lag-death, like the one below...
But that video has nothing on the 500 point run, which is a marvel of technical excellence by the player, while also respecting the stable game design presented in Nintendo's classic title. It sure beats gaining a win on a latency fluke.