18 years. That’s how long it took one player to retrieve the so-called “Impossible Coin” from an infamous level of Nintendo’s Super Mario 64. By comparison, it took them four years to build a prototype atomic bomb, and it took them 10 years to (allegedly) go to the moon, but to spend nearly two decades trying to collect one singular coin that may have been left in the game by mistake? Well that’s a level of dedication that’s not merely obsessive compulsive, but it puts obsessive compulsive in the rear-view mirror and keeps driving till it ends up somewhere completely unrecognizable. So how did this dedicated gamer finally do it? Read on.
It came together on June 12th, 2014 at 2:26 am Eastern Standard Time. A YouTube poster called pannenkoek2012 says that was the day and time he or she declared mission: accomplished in seizing the so-called “Impossible Coin.” Let’s take a look at the clip, and then hear the explanation:
The achievement was made, as you may have noted, with the help of Tool-Assisted Speedrun. “You see, when you exit water from the side, there’s a single frame when Mario is able to jump,” explains pannenkoek2012. “I take advantage of this by jumping and kicking in order to move myself towards the coin and collect it.”
But can one still do it without the aid of TAS? Sure says pannenkoek2012, but “doing it right in real time would be very difficult and require lots of practice.” And yeah, who would want to spend an exorbitant amount of time on one level of a game for a video game system that’s been obsolete for nearly 12 years?
The mystery of the “Impossible Coin” is interesting though. A website dedicated to Super Mario 64 has a page about the coin and posits that it’s likely a programming error more than some kind of wacky eff-you to the game’s millions of players by making sure they couldn’t possibly ever collect all 2092 coins in the game’s 15 levels. Of course, I’m not sure if the fact that someone achieved the goal either proves or denies that conspiracy theory, but that doesn’t make it any less of an achievement.
So take that moms everywhere! And you thought we’d never make anything of ourselves playing video games!
Nerd Bastards, if you still have your Super Mario 64 game handy and want to try pannenkoek2012’s solution, let us know how it goes.