Impossible Super Mario 64 item finally nabbed after 20 years

Screenshot: PaLiX / Nintendo / Kotaku

Nine years ago, in Cool, Cool Mountain, Super Mario 64 player toyuru2 jumped up the slide and sent the plumber into the void—but not before snagging a 1-up mushroom. At the time, it was a feat as no one had gotten the fungus yet. But then a new challenge appeared: was it possible to grab the mushroom without dying at all? Now, years later, a speed runner has answered that question through the use of special tools.

Super Mario 64 was first released on the Nintendo 64 in 1996 and is one of the most famous video games ever released. It was Mario’s big leap into the 3D world and helped create the blueprint for a 3D platformer. Like any other game, it features a number of oddities, such as items and enemies that exist outside of the bounds of where the player can go. These seemingly “impossible” items became a fix for the community, like this one coin that took 18 years for everyone to collect.

27 years later, players are still speeding up the game, creating mods for it, porting it to PC and searching for those hidden coins and other secrets in this popular 3D platformer. In this case, the impossible item cuts out of the tunnel before players can normally reach it, although as you can see in this video, it actually appears in the tunnel first. Technically, unlike other “impossible” items, this 1-up has been grabbed before – what’s different now is that it was grabbed by someone without dying. And all they had to do was jump between two walls for over an hour.

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As reported by GamesRadar, YouTuber and Mario 64 speedrunner PaLiX, a video was recently uploaded showing a new strategy for collecting the so-called impossible 1-Up on Cool, Cool Mountain.

PaliX/Nintendo

PaLiX’s tool-based method instantly makes Mario jump out of the level and fall onto the finish line below. Then they jump back and forth between two walls for an hour and a half. Slowly, Mario climbs the wall, eventually reaching a point where he seems to snap. Using an exploit where the game calculates where Mario is in relation to the ground, PaLiX is then able to break free and butt-stomp the 1-up.

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While this video includes some emulation tools to help pull off those tricky moves and jumps perfectly, it’s still interesting to see a player grab this power-up without missing the point. Will it be possible for someone to actually perform this trick on an N64 or other platform without tools one day? Perhaps. People keep doing wild shit in this game. For years, Super Mario 64’s biggest mistake in speedrunning was considered impossible for a human to do without the use of tools, until of course someone did just that. So at this point I would say that anything is possible.