Released in November of 1992, Super Mario Land 2 first introduced the greedy Wario to the Mario universe. Wario took over Mario's kingdom while he was away in the first Mario Land, so it's up to our favorite plumber to take it back. Guide Mario as he flies on rabbit ears, rides hippo snot to the moon, and climbs through a gigantic clockwork version of himself.
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Single-segment: 0:26:37 by 'Laplacier'.
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Notes for SML2 Any% Glitchless speedrun
I picked up this game as a kid when I traded a friend my Dragon Warrior Monsters cartridge for it. I spent probably a week struggling to beat Wario's Castle on my giant green brick of a Gameboy before I finally beat it. For casual play the game is pretty easy until you hit the castle and try to kill Wario. Suddenly you game over, lose all 6 golden coins, and have to kill all 6 bosses again before attempting Wario again. I'm not sure how little me had the patience to game over the dozen or so times that I did.
I considered speedrunning this game after watching Controllerhead trade world record in this game back and forth with Mugg1991 for a month or so. I started on emulator and switched to console (purchasing the necessary items) after getting confident in running the game. I want to thank Controllerhead, Mugg1991, Piraeus, Ihsoy, and Elmagus for racing the game together with me on SpeedRunsLive, finding new tricks, and pushing the game to the limit. Without the constant friendly competition for world record this game wouldn't be as optimized as it is now.
I would also like to thank SpeedDemosArchive for having useful guides and programs for recording and encoding quality runs as well as hosting a site for speedruns. I understand how hard it is to keep the site running smoothly and especially keeping the site active.
Tricks and Techniques:
-Corner boosting: If you jump at the edge of a texture (like a block) just right the game will force Mario out a few pixels. I abuse this while running right in order to move further ahead a few pixels and save some frames.
-Super jumping: If you let go of the jump button at the top of Mario's jump he will jump higher than if you were to hold the jump button. This is used to reach ledges Mario would not normally be able to get to in one jump.
-Block bumping: When turning around Mario decelerates before changing directions. If you tap a wall before changing directions Mario will decelerate immediately and save time.
-Infinite hover: If you hold the jump button with the Bunny Ears Mario will slowly fall down. If you mash A like crazy he will hover forever.
Quick falling: If you run off a ledge, Mario accelerates down slowly. If you walk off a ledge, you fall immediately at quick speed. Therefore it is faster to make sure Mario is walking just before falling off a ledge in certain situations to save time.
-The mystery star: If you kill 100 enemies a star will appear from the top center of the screen. 99 enemies are killed prior to the area where the star saves the most time: Wario's Castle.
How the run went:
Intro: If you get enough corner boosts on the blocks in this level you can end the level with 345 on the timer in the bottom right corner. I got a 344 instead for a difference of only a few frames.
Tree Zone 1: No mistakes here
Tree Zone 2: I sat in the sap for longer than I had to before jumping away. This cost me a few tenths of a second.
Tree Zone 3: In this level after jumping off the first invisible block and landing on the floating platform to the right it is faster to stop and despawn the flies off the screen than to continue. You will save as much as a second and a half by reducing lag the flies cause. I saved 1.3 seconds since my previous world record run did not perform that trick.
Tree Zone Final: About halfway through the level Mario missed entering the pipe once. That cost me a second.
Bubble Level: Hold A to victory. Anything else causes lots of lag.
Space Zone 1: You can jump higher by holding up. This level is the only level with these unique physics.
Space Zone Final: ♫♪IT'S THE STAAAAARSOOOOONG, THE ****ING STAAAAARSOOOOONG♪♫ I managed to get a one cycle on the boss at the end of this level which is extremely hard to do. If you shoot a fireball at Tatanga when he is too high or too low in his oscillation pattern he will freeze and become immune for around 5 seconds. You can only spam fireballs when he is in the center of the oscillation. I had to fire 4 fireballs in a short window before getting hit and then hitting him on the head. I could have hit him faster but I still saved 0.8 seconds.
Macro Zone 1: You can break both of the fireball blocks obstructing the pipe at the end in one go. I managed to do it in two cycles which is still quicker than my previous run. Saved a few tenths of a second.
Macro Zone 2: Just an autoscroller.
Macro Zone Final: No mistakes here.
Pumpkin Zone 1: No mistakes here. My personal best fudged the stairs a little bit at the end of the level so I saved a few tenths of a second (the tenths are really beginning to add up).
Pumpkin Zone 2: I bumped my head on the pipe leading to the pipe room and lost a few tenths of a second.
Pumpkin Zone 3: No mistakes here. Use of quick fall is very important in the middle of the stage when falling off those two ledges.
Pumpkin Zone Final: Currently we do not know how to manipulate which side of the room the Witch will spawn or where she shoots the fireball. I still manage to kill her quickly responding to her position as soona s possible.
I skip Mario Zone because I need to start Turtle Zone with Bunny Ears. If I were to go to Mario Zone first I would end the zone with Fireball.
Turtle Zone 1: Infinite hover over the entire map. #smw
Turtle Zone 2: I messed up the turtle stairs in the middle of the level but I still optimized the level enough to not lose time.
Turtle Zone Final: I lost my Fireball by mistake running into a koopa in the middle of the level. I was able to grab another powerup near the end and only lose about 0.7 seconds.
Mario Zone 1: I missed the first cog jump in my personal best here and I didn't this time. Nailing this trick and completing the rest saved me 1.5 seconds.
Mario Zone 2: Mario balls! After grabbing the Bunny Ears I didn't quite leave at running speed. I lost a little time there.
Mario Zone 3: No mistakes here.
Mario Zone Final: I brushed the block at the beginning by accident and killed the second pig in the boss room slowly. Lost some time due to that.
Wario's Castle: I am terrible at the first and third room in this level and they cost me several good runs. It's anticlimactic to have a good run going only to end it at the very last level. Not this time though. I break 100 kills on the first Wario head at the end of the level, grab the mysterious star, and proceed to plow through the next four. Wario's second phase has different patterns for which he hits the ground but he can be manipulated by the timer in the bottom right corner. Notice that after I kill his first phase I pause for a moment before running ahead. If you wait for 768, 764, 760, or 758 (there are more but I didn't memorize them) before running ahead after phase one you will always get the best pattern for second phase which is Wario falling immediately. I managed to get 764 on the timer. If I play Wario's Castle flawlessly I can get a 768 and save 2.5 seconds but this did not happen in this run nor my personal best. I lost no time in this level.
I believe around a 26:30 is possible with the current knowledge of the game. The biggest time saver in this run would be a perfect Wario's Castle and we need someone to figure out how to manipulate the Witch's patterns in Pumpkin Zone Final.
Single-segment with large-skip glitches: 0:03:56 by 'Laplacier'.
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Notes for SML2 Any% Glitched speedrun
It took a while but I finally completed a glitched run of Mario Land 2 without having to restart the glitch. If you want a TL;DR of what is happening here, I managed to set a flag at the bottom of the garbage by breaking a block which triggers the end credits.
Credits to discovery and navigation though this glitchy mess goes to Mugg1991. If he had not spent so much time delving into this mess I would not have been able to pull off this run. Mugg1991 had to analyze this using LUA scripting and an emulator to watch all the RAM values and see how the game reacted to certain events in the glitch world. In the end he found that in a certain area of the glitch he could manipulate byte address 0xA2D5 from 0x00 to 0x60 thus setting the next level as the credits. In this game, which was written in assembly code, each breakable block is a byte of memory. Normally you are only able to access 0xC000-0xDFFF, the part of the level you are intended to be in, but this glitch allows you to go out of bounds into other byte addresses and cause other side effects such as several crashes, silly noises, and other nonsense.
It is worth noting here that this trick can only be accomplished on a v1.0 Super Mario Land 2 cart. In v1.1 and v1.2, you cannot perform this trick. I only perform the glitch in Pumpkin Zone 1. However, you can go out of bounds in just about any level you choose. The problem, however, is that you would have to make an entirely new route to get where you need to go in a different level. It is also easier to just route the glitch in the level you are able to set up the glitch in.
Intro: Nothing noteworthy here.
Pumpkin Zone 1 (first): I need to clear the level once so that I can quit the level with Start+Select. I do this first.
Pumpkin Zone 1 (second): I re-enter the level, grab a fire flower, and exit the level as I am going down the first pipe. This is crucial because this will store Mario's vertical position for the next time I enter a level.
Pumpkin Zone 1 (third): When I enter this level my vertical position from when I was going down the pipe comes back, and that puts Mario halfway in the ground. Thus Mario begins to fall into the garbage. I have to make it to the half pipe on the top layer of the garbage in a certain amount of time and with fire Mario or I will not be able to go down the pipe.
At some point I reach a place where I begin pausing the game repeatedly. This is the hardest part of the glitch. I have to make Mario slide under an invisible block and land on one pixel above that pipe which will allow Mario to go in the pipe. If I slide 1+ pixels too far to the left, I have to retry. If I slide 1+ pixels too far to the right, I have to restart the level (and thus, waste too much time and end the run). Miraculously, I slid into the right spot the first try. Once this is done, I then begin pause buffering. Mario needs to stand up then enter the pipe on the same frame. Therefore I use pause buffering to attempt to get Mario to stand up on one frame, pause, then hold down while unpausing to achieve this.
After this I slide down a lot. All the physics of the game change here tremendously. To slide left and right, you need to hold B and alternate pressing Up and Down. Sometimes this will also cause you to fall down. If you shoot a fireball you cannot fall down until you jump. There are random tiles which will damage Mario and I need to stay at least Big Mario or else I cannot spin jump which is necessary to perform the glitch. There are also places in which Mario will become trapped. Unfortunately, none of this area has been routed so it is just a race to the bottom with a little bit of luck and a pinch of salt.
Once I reach the bottom where my descent is blocked by several breakable yellow blocks, I can finish the run. The block I need to break is a few screens to the right. I walk right until I find two half pipes three blocks down with six blocks separating them. I then need to break the block three blocks to the right of the left half pipe and three blocks down. Once that is done I exit the level, enter the level again, and the credits roll with interesting music.
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