When wondering what the best way to speedrun the original Paper Mario game would be, you might think of learning shortcuts, practicing glitches, and creating a perfect route. You’d be wrong, of course — you can beat Paper Mario by simply playing another Nintendo 64 game instead.
Back in February, speedrunner JCog managed to warp to the credits of Paper Mario by using a Japanese 1.0 cartridge of Ocarina of Time. Clocking in at 54:22, “it was technically the fastest Paper Mario had ever been beaten by a human using only official Nintendo hardware at the time of upload,” as JCog states in his video description. Even more impressively, participating in the currently ongoing Summer Games Done Quick 2021, JCog managed to shave his time all the way down to 26:12.
So, how in Hyrule does Ocarina of Time come into play? “By the end of this we are going to use a glitch known as ‘SRM’ in Ocarina of Time to put a piece of code on the Expansion Pak,” JCOG explains, “that we will then use a glitch with Paper Mario to execute and in between we’re going to Banjo-Kazooie-style ‘Stop ‘N Swop’ and switch cartridges really quickly.”
The run begins with ten minutes of Ocarina of Time, wherein JCog activates a number of glitches within Kokiri Forest. After intentionally crashing the game, he switches to Paper Mario, progressing as far as the Goomboss fight. After the boss battle, another glitch within Paper Mario allows him to warp directly to the game’s credits.
This is, of course, a very simplified explanation of how the process works, which is incredibly complicated and in depth. The commentators in the video do a great job of trying to break it down, as does JCog’s previous Pastebin document for those fascinated by the technical side of speedrunning and glitch exploitations.
Don’t worry though, as you really don’t need to fully understand the specifics to enjoy the video — just about any Nintendo fan can appreciate how amazing this is!
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