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Super Mario Speedrunner Sets New World Record While Blindfolded


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A wildly ambitious speedrunner going by the name Crescendo just achieved a monumentally difficult feat: beating the world record speedrun for Super Mario Bros. while blindfolded. The ambitious gamer was able to surpass the previous world record by nearly three minutes, making the already challenging accomplishment that much more impressive.

Blindfolded Mario speedruns are nothing new, with several confident speedsters taking on the challenge each year. While very few succeed in beating world records in this category, those who do getting bragging rights for life (or until someone new comes along and dethrones them). Speedruns are typically accomplished by not only mastering the mechanics of the game in question but also by learning the architecture of the game inside and out, exploiting certain glitches and design oversights to save the speedrunner precious seconds, or even semi seconds, of time. For those who choose to speedrun a game blindfolded, a good understanding of the game's audio queues, sound design, and area-specific music is crucial.

Crescendo proved himself as one of these skilled and studied gamers when he beat the original Super Mario Bros. blindfolded in just eleven minutes and fifty-five seconds, as first reported by Eurogamer. While the standard Super Mario speedrun record was completed in under five minutes, the previous record for a blindfolded speedrun was set by dodai, who beat the game in just under fifteen minutes. Following his victory, an ecstatic and exhausted Crescendo was sure to give viewers a full rundown of his setup, ensuring that he did not engage in any trickery to set the record.

Crescendo's meticulous attention to detail and laser focus was instrumental in helping him achieve his victory. He took advantage of the usual exploits and secrets, such as the famous hidden Warp Room in World 1-2 that allows players to skip levels, while also employing some other ingenious tactics. At one point, he counts out loud to determine how close he is to a crucial jump. At another, he uses the fireball powerup to gauge the distance between Mario and upcoming obstacles. These slick maneuvers prove that, rather than employing dishonest cheats, Crescendo takes advantage of his cleverness.

Players like Crescendo show the gaming community that no matter how old a game is, it can still evoke a sense of unbridled joy from its players, even in indirect ways. If video games are a marriage of technology and art, then skilled speedrunners prove that these pieces of art can be recontextualized into unique artifacts of entertainment through their technological limitations and mechanics. Competition is also central to speedrunning culture, so it may only be a matter of time until a new challenger comes along and beats Super Mario Bros. in record time.

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