The best speedrunners in the world can beat the game Nintendo Switch Super Mario Odyssey in less than an hour. On Monday, the speedrunner Katun24 took a little over five. It would have been a very bad performance without the fact that he was wearing a headband.
His last time, now a world record for beating the game blindfolded, was 5:24:18, and without a few mistakes and misfortunes he could have been considerably lower. But Katun24's work to lay the groundwork for the speedrun is in many ways just as impressive as the end product.
When the Dutch speedrunner set out to finish the game blindfolded, he wanted it to be considered an authentic Any% run, the most common speedrunning category of the game, which simply needs to beat the play as quickly as possible in one sitting. Assist mode, which gives Mario more health and prevents him from dying if he falls from one level, is also forbidden. The most important rule was that he could not pull off his headband at any point from the speedrun, which meant finishing the entire game without seeing anything.
Before Katun24 could even begin to train, he had to develop a navigation plan for each level and boss combat using only his knowledge of the game and its various sound signals. This process resulted in a mini-tour of the game with each press of a mapped button.
For example, in Cap Kingdom where the game begins and Mario first meets his companion in the hat, Cappie, Katun24 does the following (he plays with a GameCube controller):
- Ignore kinematics (press start button, X button twice, A button)
- Move the camera as far as possible (hold down the C-stick)
- Skip (press a button)
- Move eight steps to the right (move the analog stick to the right eight times)
- Proceed as far as possible (hold the analog controller toward the front)
- Skip custence (Press the Start button, the X button twice, the A button)
And this is only the first minute of the match. Katun24's performance was basically like memorizing the script of a piece. If the piece lasted several hours, he was the only actor, and the entire series would only be completed if each line was correct. Nor could he simply use the autopilot. When he messed up or had to handle randomly generated aspects of the game, he had to be able to adapt. This involved knowing exactly where Mario was appearing at each level each time he was dying and intelligently using back flips and other maneuvers to reorient the plumber if he ended up getting stuck on a wall or run into other problems.
On Reddit, Katun24 said the end of the game was by far the most difficult to plan. "Escape, just because it takes about 3 minutes to get to the end each time. It was therefore very tedious to experiment with different timed movements in the section of the pillars (I clock with the music), "he said. "I would say that it took about 6 hours to move to strategy, but it paid off as it was the first attempt of this round."
It is also useful for Katun24 to be experienced trying to play games this way. He also perfected the speedrunning The legend of Zelda: link to the past, Super Mario World, and Super Mario 64. Traditionally, it focuses on retro games, many of which are not in 3D or as expensive as the Mario Odyssey. Even with this last pen in his cap, he still has work to do. He believes that his boss's fight against Harriet took him 20 minutes longer than he should have, and why settle for the current world record while a blindfolded speedrun of less than five hours is potentially imminent?