Welcome! If you've never speedrun Super Mario RPG before, this is the place to start.
Any% is the most popular and most competitive category. If you've seen a SMRPG speedrun on Twitch, it was probably Any%. There are basically 4 different Any% route options available at this point. Read the descriptions below to determine which will suit you best.
After you've chosen a route, you may want to read this page to remember general small things about the game as you're running it.
Choosing Your Hardware
SNES or Super Famicom is the superior choice for running SMRPG.
If you have a Super Nintendo OR a Super Famicom:
- If you have a North American SNES and a Japanese cartridge, you can easily modify your SNES to accept your cartridge. Tutorial here.
- Alternatively, you can swap the back casing of your cartridge with the back casing of an English cartridge.
- (If for some reason you have the reverse, where you have a Super Famicom console and an English cartridge, you must swap the board inside the English cart into a JP cart.)
- As of firmware version 1.9.0, the SD2SNES flash cart supports Super Mario RPG and other SA-1 games. Verniy has noted that the level-up screens seem laggier than an original cartridge, so you may experience that.
If you do not have a SNES, Super Famicom, or cartridge:
- Wii or Wii U Virtual Console is OK to use. You will experience minor input delay, but running on these consoles is acceptable. It may have a slightly slower framerate, meaning your time could be somewhat slower than if you did the same run on a SNES.
- Recommended Setup: Original Wii VC (better than Wii U VC) using composite output on a CRT TV. If you have a US Wii, you can use homebrew methods to get the Japanese VC WAD on your console if you want to run J. The Wii VC is technically an emulator, but it is a much more stable emulator than anything on a PC, or even a homebrew emulator on the console. The input delay is very minor, and the CRT will add nothing to it. This is as close as you can get to playing on original console, and it is definitely possible to do 100 Super Jumps on it.
- SNES Classic is OK to use, and the experience is basically the same as virtual console.
- Super NT we're currently unsure how it compares to original console.
- PC emulator is OK to use for learning the route. It is not recommended for runs, largely due to the difficulty of performing Super Jumps. Nonetheless, runs on emulator are allowed for the leaderboards.
- Recommended emulators are either SNES9x (included in the Peach Chart save state pack) or bsnes/higan. The most accurate is bsnes/higan, but it requires a slightly more powerful PC. These can be run on their own, or via a wrapper interface like RetroArch (recommended particularly for bsnes/higan since the UI and setup for higan itself is a pain).
Basically, order of quality is: SNES > Wii VC > SNES Classic >>>>> Wii U VC > PC emulator
All tech skill guides (such as Super Jump tutorial videos and the Timed Hits visual cues) in this wiki assume you are using a CRT (tube) TV. Most LCD and HDMI TVs have slower response times and you will be looking at a delayed version of what you're playing. If you don't have a CRT TV, be mindful that your inputs will be earlier than the resources in this guide state.
All top runners primarily run the game in Japanese on a Super Famicom cartridge. It is faster than English, only due to the slower text speed and higher character count in the English version. There are no other known regional differences. Time conversion is not accepted due to randomness of both mashing and Dr. Topper's quiz questions.
While it is recommended for all runners to eventually run the Japanese version, when (or if) you do so is entirely up to you and your learning style.
Pros of running in Japanese:
- 8-9 minute time save.
- Japanese cartridges are much, much cheaper than English ones (~$10 USD). Talk to Pidge (BOX BOY) in the Discord if you want one, she has like 20.
- You do not need to know the language. The game holds your hand in menus, and there is very little character memorization required.
- The wiki offers the following resources to help you commit the Japanese speedrun to memory:
- Japanese to English Translation page - item names, spell names, menu options, and hints on character recognition
- Dr. Topper / Marathon minigames page - complete answer key and suggested visual cues
- Memorization Practice App - flashcards for item names, Dr. Topper questions, marathon game
- The World Areas section shows all item/spell names in both languages to help with learning
Cons of running in Japanese:
- Higher learning curve of character recognition in a foreign language, even higher learning curve if you haven't already learned the speedrun in English.
- Dr. Topper quiz is more difficult. The questions are randomized and cannot feasibly be manipulated. You will need to know all 40 answer sets on sight.
- May have to modify your SNES to play SFC games. Anyone can do this with a a pair of pliers, but it's hard to correct if you don't remove enough plastic on the first try, which can make cartridge insertion difficult.
- The English dialogue is hilarious.
Warning to GameSaver and Super Everdrive users
Super Mario RPG is NOT compatible with Nakitek GameSaver. In fact, attempting to use it will wipe your save files.
Super Mario RPG will not run properly on any flashcart besides the SD2SNES. It is not compatible with the Super Everdrive.
Unfortunately there are no console-based practice tools, so the best way to do segment practice is with emulator save states (you can download a set of Japanese ones here) or buying a bunch of cartridges (not actually a terrible idea if you get Japanese ones).
Any% Route Options
While it's recommended for all runners to use the optimal Any% 2.00 route, you can choose to start off with a slower/easier route if you prefer. Not all runners do this, but some do. It's up to you and your learning style.
Any% 2.00 (Optimal)
This is the standard Any% route that top runners use. This is outlined on the main Any% page. In order to do this, you must be able to do advanced techniques like 100 Super Jumps, Mack Skip, Wiggler Jumps, Ability Swap, consistent perfect timed hits, etc. There are no death abuse level ups required for this route.
This route is recommended for all runners who want to be competitive at this game and take it as a serious regular speedgame.
Attack Scarf Only (Advanced)
Recommended for players who are not new to Super Jumping, but don't want to go for 100 in a run. Assumes good knowledge/technical skill with the game otherwise. Faster than No Super Jump, but slower than Any% 2.00.
There are 2 variations of this route currently under development:
No Super Jump (Intermediate)
Recommended for those who have played SMRPG casually and are familiar with the gameplay, but have never run the game before and don't plan on getting too serious about it (i.e. if you signed up for a race). If you're not a total beginner but can't super jump, 0xwas has created this route which is faster than the Beginner route (mainly, this route does not use the Lazy Shell for safety and relies on Power Blasts and Crystallines). General movement tech through areas is still the same as the other routes.
(Note that this route does not assume that you can do even 30 Super Jumps to get the Attack Scarf, and so does not take that into account. If you are able to get the Attack Scarf, consider the Attack Scarf route. However, if you can do 30 Super Jumps, you should be able to do 100 with practice, so you should consider working on that and doing the Any% 2.00 route.)
Safe Strats (Beginner)
The purpose of the Safe Strats guide is to provide a safe alternative which ensures that almost anybody can complete a speedrun of this game in a reasonable amount of time. Can't do Super Jumps? No problem! This run is designed to route around the requirement of super jumps and wiggler frog coin jumps. If you have no idea what you're doing speedrunning SMRPG, whether or not you've even played the game before, then this is the route for you!
The most up-to-date version of the route is here: Safe Strats Route
- Low Level - The most RNG-heavy category, to put it lightly. Leaderboard times range from 8 hours to 18 hours. Does not use any Super Jumps.
- Most of the Stuff™ (100%) - Recommended if you want to try something fun/different and are very comfortable with the any% run and general game knowledge. This is a for-fun category and currently has no leaderboard. Because the Super Suit is part of the category definition, this speedrun cannot be completed unless you can do 100 Super Jumps.
- Beat Culex - Create a new save and beat Culex as quickly as possible. This is an extremely difficult category to do optimally as you must super jump him at level 11 enough times before your two red essences wear off. It is not recommended to attempt this unless you're confident you can get the Super Suit.
- Randomizer - Originally by Abyssonym, ongoing development/improvement by Dorkmaster Flek and Alanim. Join the discord and join in on the discussion!