LOADING ...

It Only Took Five Hours To Beat Super Mario Odyssey Blindfolded

Ethan Gach Aug 14, 2019. 6 comments

The best speedrunners in the world can beat the Nintendo Switch game Super Mario Odyssey in under an hour. On Monday, it took speedrunner Katun24 just over five. It would have been a pretty bad performance if not for the fact that he was wearing a blindfold.

His final time, now a world record for beating the game while blindfolded, was 5:24:18, and were it not for some mistakes and bad luck, it might have even been substantially less. But the work that Katun24 put in to lay the groundwork for the speedrun is in many ways just as impressive as the final product.

When the Dutch speedrunner set out to complete the game blindfolded, he wanted it to count as an authentic Any% run, the game’s most common speedrunning category, which simply requires beating the game as quickly as possible in one sitting. Assist mode, which gives Mario extra health and prevents him from dying if he falls off a level, is also banned. The most pivotal rule was that he couldn’t take off his blindfold at any point during the speedrun, which meant completing the whole game without seeing a thing.

Before Katun24 could even get to practicing, he had to come up with a plan for navigating each level and boss fight using only his knowledge of the game and its various sound cues. That process resulted in a mini-walkthrough of the game with every button press mapped out.

For instance in Cap Kingdom where the game starts and Mario first meets his hat companion Cappie, Katun24 does the following (he plays using a GameCube controller):

  • Skip cutscene (Press start button, X button twice, A button)
  • Move camera up as far as possible (Hold C-stick down)
  • Jump (Press A button)
  • Move forward-right eight steps (Move analog stick forward-right eight times)
  • Move forward as far as possible (Hold forward analog stick)
  • Skip custence (Press Start button, X button twice, A button) 
GIF: Katun24 (Twitch)

And that’s only the first minute of the game. Katun24’s performance was basically like memorizing the script for a play—if the play was several hours long, he was the only actor, and the whole show would only be finished when he got every line right. He couldn’t simply go on autopilot either. When he messed up or needed to deal with randomly generated aspects of the game, he needed to be able to adjust. This involved knowing precisely where Mario would spawn on each level whenever he died, and making clever use of backwards flips and other maneuvers to reorient the plumber if he ended up getting stuck on a wall or running into other problems.

On Reddit, Katun24 said the end of the game was by far the hardest to plan out. “Escape, simply because it takes like 3 minutes to get to the end there every time, so experimenting with different timed movements in the pillar section was very tedious (I time walk/jump angles with the music there),” he said. “I’d say it took about 6 hours to strat, but it paid off since it was first try in this run.”

It also helps that Katun24 is experienced with trying to play games this way. He’s also perfected speedrunning The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past , Super Mario World , and Super Mario 64. Traditionally, he’s focused on retro games, many of which aren’t 3D or as expansive as Mario Odyssey. Even with this latest feather in his cap, he’s still got work to do. He reckons his boss fight against Harriet took him 20 minutes longer than it should have, and why settle for the current world record when a sub-five hour blindfold speedrun is potentially just around the corner?

6 Comments

Other Ethan Gach's posts

Goodbye To Cecilia D'Anastasio, Planeswalking Cyber Sleuth And Aspiring Palutena Main Goodbye To Cecilia D'Anastasio, Planeswalking Cyber Sleuth And Aspiring Palutena Main

Cecilia D’Anastasio, Kotaku Senior Reporter and resident Overwatchologist, has completed her last sidequest around these parts today and is heading off to new adventures elsewhere. We’d like to wish Cecilia the best as she embarks on the newest chapter in her career and tries to sell a whole new group of strangers on the merits of binge-watching Fooly Cooley...

Bungie is raising Destiny 2's Power Cap to 960 and the Pinnacle Cap to 970 when Season of Dawn Bungie is raising Destiny 2's Power Cap to 960 and the Pinnacle Cap to 970 when Season of Dawn

Bungie is raising Destiny 2's Power Cap to 960 and the Pinnacle Cap to 970 when Season of Dawn starts December 10, the studio announced in its weekly blog post today. Artifact power bonuses will also reset, so anyone not already at the current cap with gear will find themselves behind again. 

Rocket League Replaces Loot Boxes With Pricey Item Shop Rocket League Replaces Loot Boxes With Pricey Item Shop

Rocket League players will no longer have to worry about grinding for new crates and the keys that unlock them in order to get the custom skins they want. But the new alternative will hurt their wallets.Yesterday, Rocket League’s Blueprint update went live, kicking off season 12 and adding a new item shop where players can just buy whatever...

Destiny 2's Next Update Finally Explores The Mystery Of Saint-14 Destiny 2's Next Update Finally Explores The Mystery Of Saint-14

He’s a robot, a titan, and he died a long time ago, but who was Saint-14 really?The character has been a part of Destiny lore going back to the launch of the first game in 2014, but players are now more curious about him than ever, because Bungie has revealed that he’ll be a big part of the game’s...

Suggested posts

Halo: Reach, As Told By Steam Reviews Halo: Reach, As Told By Steam Reviews

SteamedSteamedSteamed is dedicated to all things in and around Valve’s PC gaming service.Prev NextView All Halo: Reach, Bungie’s final entry in its second (of three, so far) series about armored space knights, is finally on PC. People are clearly excited, so much so that they managed to propel it to the third most-played slot on Steam earlier this week....

Goodbye To Cecilia D'Anastasio, Planeswalking Cyber Sleuth And Aspiring Palutena Main Goodbye To Cecilia D'Anastasio, Planeswalking Cyber Sleuth And Aspiring Palutena Main

Cecilia D’Anastasio, Kotaku Senior Reporter and resident Overwatchologist, has completed her last sidequest around these parts today and is heading off to new adventures elsewhere. We’d like to wish Cecilia the best as she embarks on the newest chapter in her career and tries to sell a whole new group of strangers on the merits of binge-watching Fooly Cooley...

In Defense Of Hop, The Unlucky Pokémon Rival In Defense Of Hop, The Unlucky Pokémon Rival

I will not hear any more slander about Hop, your rival in Pokémon Sword and Shield.Your rivals in the more recent Pokémon games have trended more towards “childhood pal” than the “bigtime assholes” you had to trounce in the older ones. I have strong memories of wanting to just beat the shit out of Blue from Red and Blue...

Rocket League Replaces Loot Boxes With Pricey Item Shop Rocket League Replaces Loot Boxes With Pricey Item Shop

Rocket League players will no longer have to worry about grinding for new crates and the keys that unlock them in order to get the custom skins they want. But the new alternative will hurt their wallets.Yesterday, Rocket League’s Blueprint update went live, kicking off season 12 and adding a new item shop where players can just buy whatever...

The State Of PC Gaming In 2019 The State Of PC Gaming In 2019

Year In ReviewYear In ReviewWe look back at the highs, lows, surprises, and standouts in and around video games this year.Prev NextView All Sometimes, as borders erode, new fissures form in their wake. In 2019, more games flowed between PC and other platforms than ever before, but a single major division cracked the PC gaming landscape in half.This year’s...

You Should Play Life Is Strange 2 You Should Play Life Is Strange 2

The final episode of Life Is Strange 2, “Wolves,” released on December 3 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. When I try to understand why people did not react with an open outpouring of excitement and glee for Life Is Strange 2 after the success of its predecessor, I think of Marvel movies. Superhero films strike me as an...

Destiny 2's Next Update Finally Explores The Mystery Of Saint-14 Destiny 2's Next Update Finally Explores The Mystery Of Saint-14

He’s a robot, a titan, and he died a long time ago, but who was Saint-14 really?The character has been a part of Destiny lore going back to the launch of the first game in 2014, but players are now more curious about him than ever, because Bungie has revealed that he’ll be a big part of the game’s...

Gwent Is Shutting Down On Consoles Gwent Is Shutting Down On Consoles

It’s no surprise that Gwent, The Witcher card game, is most popular on PC and iOS: the game’s hardcore competetive scene is on PC, while mobile is a lot more convenient for everyone else. Today, CD Projekt Red announced it’s pulling the plug on Gwent for consoles.“[W]e have made a tough decision: to discontinue support of console versions of...

Death Stranding Update Will Let Players Delete Marooned Cars Death Stranding Update Will Let Players Delete Marooned Cars

Death Stranding requires players to build massive systems of roads and drive bouncy, buckling cars in order to make deliveries and rebuild America. Bridges and some structures can be deleted, but if a car gets stuck in rocky terrains or if a player leaves it in the middle of a path (either by accident or to be a troll),...

Sources: Microsoft Is Still Planning A Cheaper, Disc-Less Next-Gen Xbox Sources: Microsoft Is Still Planning A Cheaper, Disc-Less Next-Gen Xbox

In June, Microsoft announced Project Scarlett, a new iteration of the Xbox that the company said would “set a new bar for console power, speed and performance.” What Microsoft didn’t say is that it is also working on a lower-cost, disc-less version of Scarlett, code-named Lockhart, according to four people briefed on the company’s plans.If those names sound familiar,...

Language