Mario Maker Taught Me How to Speedrun

You, like me, probably think you’re incapable of speedrunning a game, even one you’re pretty good at. Where do you start? Why bother trying to compete, when many people are so much better than you? Super Mario Maker 2 is not the game that I would have expected to come up with smart, intuitive lessons on Speedrunning 101, and yet, here we are.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I totally agree about not being able to see the number 1 record, and instead seeing a pool of people close to you in rank. Way back when Mirror’s Edge first came out me and my cousin were addicted to speedrunning the initial levels that came with the game. We would race against our own ghost and pass the controller between us. The joy of experimenting with alternate routes and realising that you were faster in this one section but you needed to refine and pull off a perfect route in this other section to win. The moments when you knew you could shave a little more off if you were perfect all the way through. Because we were both as good as each other it was intoxicating to try something audacious, find that it worked, and clock in with a faster time.

But then we got curious and made the mistake of pulling down the ghost of the best result. Glitch city. Hopping across balance beams with frame perfect jumps. Doing tricks that didn’t look possible and we couldn’t figure out how to replicate. Sure, we learned one or two things that we could use. But suddenly the exercise felt deflating and hollow. We were never going to match those runs. We just watched the ghost get further and further into the distance doing these seemingly impossible moves while we muddled away.