Super Mario Bros 3 Beaten In Less Than Two Seconds

by : Ewan Moore on : 11 Jul 2016 13:25

One of the most incredible moments to come from Summer Games Done Quick 2016 (besides the huge amount they raised for charity) has to be this run of Super Mario Bros 3


A new tool-assisted speedrun (TAS) during the charity event saw the NES classic beaten in two seconds flat – This lightning fast run was discovered by ais523.

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I’m still not entirely sure what happened, but ais523 explained things on Reddit:

…if you’re reading the controller repeatedly until you get two values the same (in order to work around the DPCM/controller conflict), then if the controller reads a different output each time (because you’re mashing the controller really fast), it’s going to get stuck in a loop, potentially allowing for the code that handles the start of a frame running recursively. If the game isn’t designed to expect that to happen (and if the code in question isn’t really laggy, why would it?), bad things happen, and it was a case of finding a game in which the bad things in question would happen to let us win instantly.


Basically, to pull it off, buttons need to be mashed at an alarmingly fast rate – around 6,000 times a second. Obviously this isn’t something a mortal man can do, and it’s where the TAS element comes in.

The run was performed by TASBot, the Nintendo R.O.B. robot modified by regular SGDC attendee dwangoAC to run controller instructions.


The game was over in the blink of an eye, with Mario rescuing Peach almost as soon as the title screen came up. Check it out below, via a YouTube video posted by Countryclubguy.

Alternatively, you can find a YouTube playlist of other impressive (and mostly human) speedruns from the event right here.


One of the coolest things about speedrunning has to be the way these guys are constantly finding new workarounds and exploits, keeping a classic like Super Mario Bros 3 as fun, fresh, and insane as it ever was.

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn't gotten out of his mid 00's emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.


  1. Kotaku

    Robot Finishes Super Mario Bros. 3 in Two Seconds