Last week, after a few individual level records were broken in Super Mario Maker 2 using Luigi, a question began to form: Was Mario’s lanky brother somehow faster? Was playing as the Big L essential for getting records? After some investigating, there’s now an answer: probably not.
Questions about Luigi’s efficacy started after Mario speedrunner and record holder Kosmic (alongside runner Andrick) floated the possibility on Twitter that he might be a bit faster. It was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek suggestion without much breakdown, but it was enough to cause some curiosity. After coming short of records on two levels, Kosmic and Andrick managed to beat the records by 0.002 milliseconds or sometimes 0.006. Runners weren’t convinced it necessarily had to do with their character selection.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with character selection,” Andrick tweeted. “I’m still confused as to a run can be faster or slower than another that both end on the same frame.”
“What have I done,” Kosmic said on Twitter at the time. “This has virtually no testing done at this point for the record rofl.”
Indeed, what did you do, Kosmic? Here at the Kotaku offices, it was enough for my boss Stephen Totilo to demand answers. After some investigation from Kosmic and others, it turn out that the runners were right: Luigi is probably not some magic speedster required for getting the best times. It does, however, confirm a speedrun community meme: “lol, just wait for Kotaku to write about this.”
“Bismuth9 and I tried testing out this theory by making various levels,” Kosmic told Kotaku via email. “We thought maybe different characters could cause more or less lag than others. In the end we didn’t find any differences between the characters. At this point I believe all of the characters play the same.”
We reached out to Nintendo via email for information about Luigi’s mechanics in Mario Maker 2. For now, it’s unclear where the 0.002 time save came from, but Kosmic speculates that it might be “something to do with the way you hit the end card or goal tape.” So don’t worry, friends. Play as whoever you like.