Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-05-09 17:34 JST)
Speedrunner Bubzia has completed a blindfolded 120 star speedrun of Super Mario 64 in 11 hours, 22 minutes, and 43 seconds. While there have been blindfolded runs of the game before, this is likely the first time that someone has completed a 120 star run while blindfolded.
Super Mario 64 is a title that enjoys a deep-seated popularity within the speedrunning community. Speedrunning records for the game continue to be broken even today, almost 26 years after the game was first released. Among the many speedruns of the game, the record that is most fiercely contested is for the 120 star run, where every star in the game must be collected. Last year, when Japanese speedrunner Batora broke the world record for the 120 star run, it caused quite a stir in Japan (related article). Even following this, players from all over the world have continued to set new records.
There have even been some rather unconventional speedruns of the game, such as completing it using a Dance Dance Revolution controller or a drum kit. And now, of all things, a player has managed to complete a 120 star run while blindfolded, only relying on the sounds of the game. Bubzia, the speedrunner who accomplished this achievement, has completed a number of games blindfolded, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and NieR: Automata, and is considered a stalwart veteran in the field of blindfolded speedruns.
The challenge to complete a blindfolded 120 star run of Super Mario 64 actually started back in March. The first attempt was abandoned after it was disrupted by the difficulty in obtaining one of the stars in Lethal Lava Land, which requires collecting 100 coins in the level. The concerns that Bubzia had prior to the attempt happened to be right on the mark. The second attempt, performed in April, managed to last for around 11 hours. However, due to mental exhaustion and some controller troubles, Bubzia unfortunately only managed to collect 102 stars during the run.
Finally, it was time for the third attempt. Due to the large amount of time that it takes for a run, just as he did for his previous attempts, Bubzia had prepared some energy food and snacks (he remained blindfolded while eating, of course). He had become so used to playing under these conditions that it almost didn’t feel like it was a blindfolded speedrun. Though from time to time he did, of course, use techniques typical of blindfolded runs in order to determine his current location, such as sticking along walls and grabbing onto ledges.
Collecting 100 coins in Lethal Lava Land, the task that derailed the first attempt, once again caused Bubzia trouble. After collecting 91 coins all while being very careful with his footing, Mario was rammed by a Bully enemy. He somehow managed to avoid falling, but Bubzia had completely lost track of Mario’s location. He paused the game and carefully attempted to understand the situation that he was in. Somehow or other, Bubzia managed to figure out Mario’s location, and upon collecting 100 coins, succeeded in obtaining the star.
After continuing to struggle through a number of difficult sections, Bubzia was finally up to the 120th star. The final hurdle would be the star from the Tower of the Wing Cap. In order to obtain this star, Mario must use the Wing Cap to collect all eight red coins that are located in mid-air, after which the star will appear.
Bubzia attempted the level over and over, managing to obtain six coins and leaving only two remaining. However, he made a regrettable error when he jumped from an incorrect location. Still, being a veteran with much experience playing blindfolded, Bubzia used his intuition to skillfully deal with the situation. Mario took off into the air and collected the final red coins, causing the star to appear on the roof of the tower. Without losing focus, Bubzia carefully searched for the star, and had finally collected all 120. He let out a roar of great satisfaction, and there was tremendous excitement in the comments.
Bubzia easily crushed Bowser, the final boss, without dying even once and completed the blindfolded 120 star speedrun. The comments were overflowing with joyful remarks and emotes, and even Bubzia’s cat joined in on the celebrations.
Before the attempt, Bubzia had expected the run to take around 15 hours, but he beat that by more than three and a half hours, finishing with a time of 11 hours, 22 minutes, and 43 seconds. When you consider that his second attempt, where he only obtained 102 stars, also took around 11 hours, you could say that he achieved a very good time. From the precise adjustment of his location to the ability to stay composed and recover from his mistakes, this is a speedrun that puts the experience that Bubzia has as a blindfolded player on full display.