Speedruns are an immensely popular pastime nowadays, between the hundreds of thousands of people who watch marathons like Games Done Quick and the thousands who take a shot at beating games as quickly as possible. With the spectator and fun aspect of the hobby played up now more than ever, it’s easy to forget speedrunning is about setting records, and a new online documentary tracks the history of a particular Super Mario Bros. 3 record.
Summon Salt has released a 40-minute documentary taking a look at the game’s “Warpless” run. The subcategory tasks its runners with beating the game without using warp whistles, which allow players to skip most of the game. This means beating the game naturally, but as quickly as possible. The video is a fascinating look not only at how Super Mario Bros. 3’s best players one-upped each other over the years, but also at how speedrunning communities are often as collaborative as they are competitive, as runners build off one another in order to score a better time.