If you followed Awesome Games Done Quick, you may already be familiar with the world of speedrunning, a community that uses a combination of high-level play, strategic optimization and movement glitches to race through games at breakneck speeds. A full speedrun of Super Mario 64 only takes around one hour and 44 minutes, for instance-- a tiny fraction of the dozens of hours that it takes a player like myself to complete the game. Yet when Scott Buchanan plays Super Mario 64, it might take dozens of hours to reach a single star: the Youtuber plays the game with the self-imposed challenge of avoiding pressing the A button.
As you can imagine, trying to play a platformer without jumping makes it a little difficult. How difficult exactly? To answer that, we need to talk about parallel universes. In his most recent video, Scott explains a new approach for getting to the Watch for Rolling Rocks star that, among other things, involves walking in place for twelve hours to collect enough momentum to tunnel through into copies of the original course that exist out of bounds. All to improve on his previous method by half an A press, and yes, that’s totally a thing.