Even if you don’t care about video games or the online “speedrun” culture that’s dedicated to finding glitches to beat them in faster and more interesting ways, you have to watch this Super Mario 64 video that’s blowing minds on Tumblr today. It’s 24 minutes devoted to collecting a single star in the game without pressing the jump button, and it’s so detailed that you have to respect it as a kind of art.
The trick, as explained by singularly obsessive glitch-hunter Pannenkoek2012, is to have Mario build speed by running in place at a specific spot for 12 hours (12 hours!) until he’s moving so fast that he can enter a series of parallel universes, then return to the original universe, bounce on an enemy you’ve glitched into the sky, and collect the star.
It’s breathtaking in its obsession and mastery of the game. Pannenkoek has calculated the slopes of individual floor triangles, and abused every rule about how walls work to keep Mario inside the bounds of a level.
Oh, and he did the whole thing with only “half” a press of the A button, which means he started the level with the button held down, and never pressed it again.
The “half ‘A’ press” video has driven Tumblr users totally insane, and they’ve been posting meme images and video tributes to its brain-breaking genius:
And that’s just scratching the surface of what’s going on at Tumblr’s Super Mario 64 tag right now. This meme is extremely deep, especially once you realize that Pannenkoek2012 has an entire playlist of similarly obsessive Mario glitch videos. He’s the John Nash of Nintendo 64, and these are his “crazy walls.”