– all point pressing techniques are valid provided they do not nullify the level timer
– only a single life must be used AKA “Deathless”
– bonus games are optional
– all items picked up may be used
– must provide video evidence
I got a chance to catch up with Mason and ask him a few questions about Super Mario 3.
What made you want to go for the world record in Super Mario 3?
Mason: Rob and Jay – From “The NES Club” they inspired me. When they came to DuBois to shoot at VGX for the NES club, I asked them what game I should do. They both said Mario 3. Also, I wanted to get above a Tom Votava score, since he’s my hero.
Super Mario 3 might be arguably (hence arguably) the best mario game… Do you agree and why would it make it the best?
Mason: You know, it’s funny. For a long time, I would’ve said Mario 3 was my least favorite of the original 4. My complaint was that it felt too “puffy”. I had trained on Mario World, and I was unfairly comparing it. Deconstructing the game to this degree made me find a million things to love about it. One of my favorite discoveries was that the game is ‘quantum mechanical’. That is to say, the level timer moves slower as you move faster, and can also be affected by programming lag. I don’t think there is a “BEST” mario game, but this is one of the best NES games because it perfectly maxes out the programming capacity of the system without any real determent to game play.
Seeing you are a Musician… Do you have any plans of making a song or anything about your experience?
Mason: I’ve thought a lot about writing a song about my relationship to video games, this experience included. However, I’m finding it really hard to decide on an angle to write from. I don’t want an over-saturated nostalgia trip. I don’t want corny puns about enemies and secret 1 ups. And I don’t want to get too meta either. I’m thinking about a hip-hop acoustic kind of song that’s modeled after all those ballin’ kind of gangster songs…like an epic rap battle of history or something…but it’s really difficult to write lyrics about games without coming off as corny.
What is your next world record video game attempt going to be?
Mason: I have short term and long term projects. I chose which games to run simply by what sparks my interest and inspiration. How hard I can sink my teeth into something. In a way, I got lucky that Rob and Jay suggested Mario 3. I had an enormous skill set to draw from already. If they would’ve said – speed run Final Fantasy, it would have been much more difficult for me. I like action games. Ones that are fluid, and draw their difficulty from frame-precision, hand eye coordination, and technical skill. On the 24th of this month, I’m going to take a shot at a deathless Silver Surfer run which might break the world record. (The record I’m referencing is suspiciously low…I have reason to believe that it’s around 500K and not 200) Then maybe back to some Atari for some Crystal Castles and Demons to Diamonds perhaps. In the long term, I’m working on my Tetris maxout, that’s definitely on my list. And I’m fixing up my Millipede cab….definitely would like several millions and a shot at Don Hayes’s record as soon as I can get going. Although the tournament settings record for Millipede (five lives) would probably be my first target with that.
What or Who inspired you to do video game world Records? and Who would you like to thank?
Mason: I’d like to add that I owe a debt of grattitude to my pal Zeo (Daryl Kiddey) for his discovers about Mario 3. He laid a lot of the groundwork for the techniques used in world 1, especially in 1-2, 1-6, and the coin ship setup in 1-1. It was Daryl, I believe, who discovered double-valued tail smacks, and that is immensely important in this run
Players who have really inspired me – Tom Votava for his infallible calculation skills, his dominance of anything he touches, and the immense amount of research he’s done. Andrew Gardikis is an absolute wizard to watch, and easily one of the best Mario players on planet earth. While we’re on speed runners – Tri-Hex inspires the hell out of me for his SMW2 speed run. Mind blowing in every sense of the word. Todd Rodgers is one of my heroes as well. Andrew Furrer also. Shout outs to John Pompa, Zack Spencer, Josh Reed, Walter Day, Steve Walsh, Pappy, VGX and the rest of the local DuBois community. My friends and family give me so much love and support, I’d be nothing without them…
and my girlfriend Jessica, who not only encourages and enjoys what I do with games…but also discovered a point pressing property of the game that I had missed. I owe about 300,000 points to her… and my parents…and I can’t forget Matt Miller. Also Brent Dolan…he’s one classy guy… and my late best friend Josh Giles.
Final Note by Mason: This run ended at the end of world 6. There’s plenty of room for this score to be improved, either by me or by somebody else. I’ll be back to this run in the future. The jury is still out on weather or not the max-out is possible. I’d say about 8 million or so is approaching the upper limits of practicality, but there are many more developments left in this story.
Check out video of Mason’s WR Super Mario 3 Below: