In this blog, I’m going to be talking about how I got into speedrunning and then ultimately became a WR holder.
The New Super Mario Bros. Wii Low% by BMAN_03 is a speedrun of New Super Mario Bros. Wii in which the player completes the game with only 1 life. This journey from casual to WR holder is an interesting read for any Mario fan. Read more in detail here: super mario 5.
One of my (BMAN 03) favorite childhood games was New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I used to be a Nintendo DS child in the mid-to-late 2000s, until I got a Wii for Christmas in 2009. Playing Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii (NSMB Wii), Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Skylanders, Super Mario Galaxy, and a variety of other games. I really adored Wii games. I eventually became interested in Minecraft and other similar games, and I began to abandon the Wii. I grew older, and it wasn’t until 2018 that I felt compelled to revisit certain childhood favorites. I was also aware of the existence of speedrunning at the time.
My thoughts collided. I figured I was skilled enough at these Wii games to attempt speedrunning, so I went straight in with very little preparation. I tried my first ever speedrun on September 23rd, 2018. I finished New Super Mario Bros. Wii in 46 minutes and 32 seconds, which is very slow by today’s standards. After that, I kind of forgot about speedrunning. School and personal obligations got in the way, and I assumed my speedrunning career would be a one-time thing for a little of fun. But, oh, how wrong I was.
These childhood games have a particular place in my heart. I was born in the English county of Cumbria and migrated to Queensland, Australia, when I was around ten years old. This meant leaving the bulk of my family and friends behind to start a new life in a country with a totally different culture. After that little period of nostalgia trips in September 2018, I realized that the childhood games I remember and like bring back memories of happy times spent with my family and friends. It helped me forget about my homesickness. I returned to speedrunning nearly a year later.
I picked up New Super Mario Bros. Wii again in October 2019 and decided that this would be my speedgame. I practiced speedrunning for a time and rapidly improved. My initial aim was to run under 30 minutes, but I shattered that with a time of 26:56. (unverified). After many months, I finally achieved what the community considers a top time – a 24:48 with loads. During these months, though, I decide to try out a new technique. I experimented with several categories and quickly discovered one that piqued my interest… a small percentage of the population To some, just completing the game without dying is a significant achievement, but doing it without any power-ups, checkpoints, or Yoshi? This would be a category for the upper crust, I reasoned. Because of the difficulty of the requirements, there aren’t many low percent runs; think of it as 0 and 1 star in SM64.
In 1-3, you need Yoshi or a propeller suit to go to the world 1 cannon to warp to world 5, but this was clearly prohibited. I was shocked when I saw the world record; you had to perform a shell leap from the hidden exit cliff. This was a category I really wanted to attempt, but first I had to figure out this insane approach. It took a while, but after I got the hang of it, I decided to go for a run. I ran my first ever low-percentage run on January 24, 2020, in 34 minutes and 17 seconds. I ran a second 30 minute and 39 second run only minutes afterwards.
My very first run:
It wasn’t anything extraordinary; I was just enjoying the new experience. I was moving between a few categories at the time, and on March 14, 2020, I returned to low percent with a time of 28:43, which was good for third position at the time. I was very content. Brammyson, a speedrunning buddy of mine, broadcast a few low percent tries before he decided to try for the world record a few weeks later. Following that, he assisted me in realizing how inefficient the world record was, so I decided to board the train as well.
It wasn’t going to be simple to beat the global record, which was held by the one and only FadeVanity. According to him, his low percent run was the “God Run,” as he defeated second place by almost 30 seconds with a timing of 27:28. For two years, he held the world record.
Fade’s World Low Percentage Record:
Now, Fade isn’t just a one-hit wonder in this game; he’s a legend who, at the time, owned the global record for any percent — no one had even come close to him. Brammyson and I were rivals. Who would dethrone the king? It was a contest between the B’s. The two-year-old world record was finally broken on April 8, 2020.
It would be me who would be the one to shatter it. I was overjoyed! Only the second person in history to defeat Fade in a category! With a time of 27:24, I had set a new World Record.
But I forgot about Brammyson, my main competitor. Soon after I set the world record, a few techniques were found, and he quickly beat my time with a 27:20, and then continued going…
I went back to any percent after getting my first world record, but Brammyson proceeded to decrease the record the next week. Our competition, on the other hand, drew attention to other great runners. TheCodingBoy and Pidgey, who are always looking for new tricks and tactics, might be interested in this area as well. Brammyson would go on to surpass his record with a 27:10 on April 10th, 2020. TheCodingBoy set a new World Record with a time of 27:14 the following day, while Pidgey set a new World Record with a time of 27:06. While we thought that sub-27 was just just feasible, Pidgey went on to break the World Record in every other category, while we speculated that sub-27 was just barely doable. Pidgey’s best time was 26:57, which included several stunning golds. Brammyson and TheCodingBoy lost interest in the category and decided to leave the game, while I continued to play any percent and Pidgey pursued the cannonless world record.
For a long period, the category was inactive.
Three months later, a 10-second timesave that had been found five years before was rediscovered. Piranha Plant Skip was the name of the trick. The “ambush level” of the overworld piranha plant, which was believed to be difficult to avoid and not waste time, was really avoidable in a small percentage of cases. If the Piranha Plant hatched at the top of its route upon entering world 5, it would die in 5-1 and then travel to the bottom after completing 5-1, bypassing it and go directly to 5-2. The piranha plant, on the other hand, was produced by RNG (random number generator). If it spawned in the center, the player has a 50/50 chance of avoiding it, but if it spawned on the bottom, the player has a 0% chance of avoiding it. As a result of this technique, runs would not begin until world 5, which was also after shell leap. This wasn’t the only low-percentage RNG. 8-1 is RNG-dependent, and it’s possible to lose up to 5 seconds at a high level; in 8-C, Bowser leap is also RNG-dependent, and it may kill the run in the last part. Even if it required more RNG, a 26-minute time frame was now feasible.
Brammyson set the first sub 27 minute record on July 29, 2020, with a time of 26:56, 10 seconds quicker than Pidgey’s World Record.
A watershed event in the history of Low Percent Speedrunning and the game as a whole. I returned to low percent after getting my any percent personal best of 24:48 in the hopes of breaking 27 minutes and perhaps breaking the world record… But after a few weeks of practice, I shocked myself by becoming more consistent at these difficult feats — and I even obtained times on levels I’d never done before. My spirits were high, and I resumed running at a modest percentage.
I scored a 27:07 with the Piranha Plant skip on August 23rd, but it wasn’t a fantastic run, so I trained more and broadcast my efforts on Twitch. Finally, on September 16th, I ran my first sub-27 minute mile and regained the world record with a time of 26 minutes and 53 seconds… but I wasn’t finished yet. Even with some terrible 8-1 RNG, it still seemed poor. My hard work paid off. My world 5 pace was the fastest I’d ever seen. I kept going because I knew I could improve. I obtained the first ever 26:4x with a time of 26:49 10 days later, a time that was considered unachievable 2 or 3 months earlier. But that wasn’t the end of it. I was rapidly improving and always surprised me. On the 29th of September 2020, three days later, I ran a race in 26m 46s, a near-perfect time. The RNG was excellent, and every level was optimum or within a second of it, however I missed a very hard leap in 8-Castle, which lost me two seconds…
My aim now is to achieve the ideal run, the “God Run,” since I’m progressing so quickly and loving the category. It’s ideal to start at 26:42 or 43. On my Twitch, I’ll be going for it this time, hoping to push this category farther than anybody has ever dreamed. The category, on the other hand, will not be completely extinct. See, 5-Tower is dependent on cycles, and at low percent, a quicker cycle is feasible, saving around 7 seconds. However, it has only ever been done by two individuals, and it is very difficult. Is it possible that it will be used in runs long after I’m gone? Perhaps only time will tell.
BMAN 03 was the author of this article. Please give them a follow on Twitch and follow them on their way to their next personal best!
We at Speed Gaming News hope that this encourages you to never give up and always give it your best! We wish you the best of success and hope to see you around.
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