10
Jan
2017

This Super Mario Sunshine speedrun is 90 minutes of anxiety

Super Mario Sunshinemade its Awesome Games Done Quick appearance last night, and the GameCube title made for one intense speedrunning experience. Four accomplished runners raced against the clock to collect all the Shines and finish Sunshine in a little under 90 minutes, and their comparable levels of skill turned the event into one of the most engrossing runs yet.

The players running through the game were PangaeaPanga and StrongManlin, as well as former Games Done Quick competitors AverageTrey and Bounceyboy, who played Super Mario Sunshine for the annual charity stream in the past. Although Bounceyboy was the odds-on favorite to come out on top, what made the run so amazing was how all four of the players were neck-in-neck for much of their playthroughs.

It’s always interesting to see how players use — or are let down by — the tiniest things that the average player doesn’t realize factor into a game. One heartwrenching moment saw Bounceyboy trying to climb further up a vertical level, just to fall onto the same platform over and over again.

Version differences also upped the stakes, as the four players were playing with different copies of Super Mario Sunshine. In the Japanese and PAL versions of the game, for example, one mission requires different amounts of work in order to progress. StrongManlin used that to his advantage, getting the tiniest lead over PangaeaPanga just because he was playing the faster PAL version.

The best parts to watch are always the saves, though, especially when they come so late in the game. There was a moment nearly an hour in where PangaeaPanga nearly died by falling off the edge of a cube. Thankfully, he saved himself at the last moment with the most perfectly timed spin jump.

At the very end, the players proved just how good at the game they were by finishing within under two minutes of each other. Bounceboy came in first, while StrongManlin came last — but the difference between their finishing times was about 70 seconds.

The whole archive’s not yet available on Games Done Quick’s video-on-demand service, although it can be seen on yesterday’s full Twitch livestream. Super Mario Sunshine kicks off around the 5:34:00 mark.

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