Tag Archives: speedrunner

Three Incredible Mario Kart Wii Shortcut Glitches Discovered Within 24 Hours

Mario Kart Wii remains the best-selling game in the series, and despite being over a decade old, players are still discovering new secrets hidden deep inside its 32 courses. Just last week, three new shortcuts were discovered, continuing the race to try and find one for every course in the game.

Prior to July 11, there were only 18 known Ultra Shortcuts in Mario Kart Wii. While the game is full of all sorts of shortcuts, Ultra Shortcuts are defined by speedrunners as glitches that allow players to skip more than 50 percent of a lap. While Ultra Shortcuts aren’t unique to Mario Kart Wii, it has by far the most of them out of any game in the series. New ones are still discovered occasionally—two others were found earlier this year—but the discovery of three new ones within 24 hours is unheard of. FlaminFunky, a Mario Kart Wii enthusiast, recently documented how the new Ultra Shortcuts work on YouTube. All the new shortcuts were found in tool-assisted speedruns (TAS).

The first is on N64 Bowser’s Castle and was discovered by a player called speedrunner MKWLuke. It requires the player to move a little bit up the track at the beginning of the race before turning around and using their starting mushroom speed boosts to perform a rapid-fire hop into a rapid-fire hop ejection. A complex maneuver, it requires a pixel-perfect speedboost over the edge as Funky Kong pops a wheelie and is so precise it can only be completed using a TAS.

With this maneuver, it’s possible to clip off the right side of the track far enough into the back lava for the game to spawn the racer prior to the start of the race. The player then falls into the laval behind where they respawn to start even further back, at which point the game will register them as having moved forward rather than backward, counting the next time they cross the finish line as one completed lap.

The second, found by a player called Catfish, is on GBA Shy Guy Beach. It requires waiting three minutes for a bomb to drop just ahead of the finish line, making it viable only in the final lap. By turning around and speed boosting over top of it right before it explodes, it’s possible to get enough air and go far enough into the surrounding ocean to again trick the game into respawning the player behind the finish line. Moving across it then counts as a full lap.

The third Ultra Shortcut was discovered on Koopa Cape by BlazeMSX. This one also requires the combination of a rapid-fire hop and ejection, this time to clear the gap directly in front of the start of Koopa Cape while going in reverse. If they’re performed at the right time, it’s possible to clip into the side of the track directly behind the gap and ride through it until it gives way to a hidden waterfall. After dropping into the water, the game sends Lakitu to retrieve the player and respawn them back on the track, where crossing the finishing line will be registered as a completed lap.

Both the N64 Bowser’s Castle and Koopa Cape Ultra Shortcuts currently rely on glitches that can only be exploited using a TAS, but they do bring the game that much closer to the holy grail of every course having some sort of major skip inside of it.

“I think that the speedrunners and TAS programmers continue to stick with this game because Mario Kart Wii is a game that is unlike all the rest,” FlaminFunky told Kotaku in an email. “The unique mechanics and crazy glitches are a trait of Mario Kart Wii that’s mostly unique [among] Mario Kart games (although Mario Kart 64 can be similar at times) and it drives them to create and achieve new things over 11 years after the game came out.”

According to FlaminFunky, one of the next likeliest candidates for a shortcut breakthrough is GBA Bowser’s Castle. A player by the name of TAS Snoop discovered a skip for the first checkpoint on that track, leading other players to search for others that could be exploited to make a 15-second lap possible, at least for computers. Even if humans can’t pull it off, though, it’ll bring the game closer to its ultimate destiny in the eyes of some of its most hardcore players.

Source: Kotaku.com

Déjà Poo: Nintendo Deletes Another Mario Maker Level By Popular Speedrunner

A popular Mario speedrunner and Mario Maker level creator said Tuesday morning that Nintendo is once again deleting his Mario Maker levels, this time targeting his popular Super Expert course in Super Mario Maker 2 for the Switch, called “Pile of Poo: Kai-Zero G.”

“I am at a loss for words and extremely sad about this,” said the creator, David “GrandPOOBear” Hunt, in a Twitter thread.

Hunt is well known in the Mario Maker community for his streaming, speedrunning, and creating some of the series’ most challenging levels. Kai-Zero G is one of those. Part of a tradition of “Kaizo” levels that are known for being incredibly difficult and breaking the normal rules associated with official Mario levels, Kai-Zero G is set in Mario Maker 2‘s new low-gravity setting, forcing players to make meticulously-timed jumps, catches, and throws, generally while slowly falling into an open pit. It blew up in Super Mario Maker 2 shortly after Hunt released it, with videos of other people playing it garnering hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Now the level is gone, and he has no idea why.

According to a screenshot Hunt shared of an email from Nintendo he received earlier today, the course violated a prohibition on “inappropriate and/or harmful” content. But Hunt says there was nothing offensive in the level that he can think of. “It contained no inappropriate words, pictures, etc. It contained no glitches,” he said on Twitter.

He also believes that the problem does not lie with the word “Poo” in his online alias or in the level’s title. “’I’ve been told specifically by people at Nintendo that it’s not due to my name being Poo multiple times,” he said on Twitter, noting that the “Poo” part of his handle comes from a character in the game EarthBound. (Additionally, Hunt’s display name is simply “GPB” in Mario Maker 2.) That said, the phrasing “Pile of Poo” in the level’s title is certainly suggestive of something other than a fan-favorite EarthBound character, which might have triggered Nintendo’s famously opaque moderation regardless of what Hunt has been told in the past.

One person on Twitter suggested that it might be the result of other players erroneously reporting Kai-Zero G, rather than Nintendo targeting it specifically. Hunt called that “the most likely scenario,” although it doesn’t change the fact that the level is now gone. A Mario Maker 2 level that Nintendo boots from the servers cannot be re-uploaded, even if the creator makes changes to it. While he could rebuild it from scratch, he’s not sure it’s worth the effort, considering Nintendo might delete it all over again.

This isn’t the first time Nintendo has deleted Hunt’s levels. Back in 2016 the company deleted all of Hunt’s levels in the first Mario Maker, a body of work that cumulatively took him over 100 hours to construct. At that time, it did not tell him why it deleted the levels. At the time, Hunt told Kotaku that he felt like Nintendo was going after him specifically for having called out some of Nintendo’s policies with regard to the Mario Maker community. Nintendo, at that time, did not respond to Kotaku’s request for comment.

While the email that Hunt received from Nintendo said the decision about removing Kai-Zero G was final, Hunt has attempted to appeal to the President of Nintendo of America, Doug Bowser, on Twitter for help on reversing the decision.

“if there is something that Nintendo could point me too that caused this, I would gladly fix that given the opportunity,” Hunt said. “But it keeps happening despite me following their rule sets. I don’t know. I don’t want to create this conspiracy around me and Nintendo but it’s starting to feel that way.

Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hunt was reached for comment by Kotaku but was unable to provide further details beyond what he had already shared via Twitter.

Source: Kotaku.com

My Seven-Year-Old Son Is Going To Be A Sonic Mania Speedrunner Someday

Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

My seven-year-old son Archer loves to play Sonic Mania on our PlayStation 4, but only in Time Attack mode. Watching him work his way through Green Hill Zone Act 2 for the umpteenth time in a row, I ask, “Are you going to be a speedrunner?” Archer, eyes locked on the television screen, replies “Yes.”

Archer, like his twin brother Seamus, is on the autism spectrum, though in a very different place. Seamus is a big talker. Archer talks more to himself than anyone else. Seamus doesn’t like making decisions, asking others for input before making a choice. Archer knows what he wants and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. Seamus is easily distracted, but when Archer focuses on a thing, his focus does not waver. When that focus is, say, wanting Pizza Hut for dinner (or “Pizza Hunt,” as he calls it), it can get pretty annoying. But when it’s getting the fastest time possible in Sonic Mania, it can be inspiring.

I don’t know what drew Archer to Sonic Mania in the first place. I am guessing he’s seen enough of Sega’s blue hedgehog in the horrible YouTube videos we try to stop him from watching that the game’s icon, which is Sonic’s smiling face, is like a beacon for him.

Archer likes to start new games.

Our PlayStation 4 is in the living room of our home, as is the hospital bed where I spend most of my time, still recovering from a major medical incident last year and subsequent surgeries. So when Archer plays Sonic Mania, he plays it sitting on the couch beside me, or while bouncing on a yoga ball (it’s a stimming thing).

Due to our close proximity, I’ve been privy to his progress. It’s been fascinating to watch him learn new routes through Sonic Mania’s levels and see how he overcomes obstacles. For instance, there are these film reels in Studiopolis Act 2 (which he prefers over Act 1). Running atop them causes them to move along a track. When the end of the track is reached, Sonic runs around the reel in circles until he jumps off.

I watched Archer get stuck on these spinning reels over and over. He wasn’t sure when to jump off. Maybe he just enjoyed the spinning motion. But after I don’t know how many tries, he started jumping to the left and hitting that red bounce pad. Now he does it every single time.

He lives for that “New Record!” announcement that plays when he beats his own times. His mother and I have started using the phrases as a positive reinforcement when he does something well in other aspects of his life.

We also help him out in the non-Time Attack portions of the game. When he’s at school or has gone to bed for the evening, I play through the main game in order to unlock new levels for him to play in Time Attack. He’s not big on boss battles and tends to hand the controller to his mother or me when he gets stuck on those.

When it comes to time attack, though, he’s better than the both of us. He’s got a long way to go before getting anywhere close to the top ranks, where the current PS4 leaderboard topper for Green Hill Act 2 is around 27 seconds, but he’s top-ranked in our house. I’ve seen areas in Sonic Mania I never knew existed, thanks to his constant experimentation.

There are worse things Archer could be than a Sonic Mania speedrunner. And there are worse things I could have to watch him play over and over again on our living room television, trapped in a bed and unable to flee. I’ll take Sonic over YouTube Poop any day.

Source: Kotaku.com