Darbian is one of the premier Super Mario Bros. speedrunners, and this is him getting wrecked by a Cheep Cheep.

Currently tied with Kosmic for first place in the game with a shared world record of 4:56:878, Darbian was on his way to make history having already shaved off another .3 seconds during world 8-3. Super Mario Bros. is one of those games that’s been practiced so often and explored so thoroughly that new records only ever come in at fractions of a second less than those they replace.


That’s why the smallest error in timing will instantly kill any new world record attempt. The Cheep Cheep usually doesn’t spawn until Darbian is already going down the pipe but on this occasion is came in right on the tail end of the first two, leaving the speedrunner only the smallest of windows to avoid it. Even though he struck it on the head and thus didn’t die, the jump-killing physics of making contact with an enemy meant he failed to clear the pipe, contributing to what in the end would be a King Koopa run time .7 seconds above his best.

“Why man?! Why?” he says, just moments before someone watching his stream types “fuck that fish” into the chat.

Last year around this time is when Darbian set his existing record. Since then, it’s been slow going to knock another .35 seconds off (the shortest increment of time that can be captured in each frame of the game). And with only a few frames left that runners believe are theoretically possible for humans to shave off, any run of this quality is a big deal, or at least it would have been if the Cheep Cheeps didn’t have other plans.


Darbian has currently run Super Mario Bros. just North of 26,600 times. 

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at ethan.gach@kotaku.com

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