The life of an elite 'Super Mario 64' speedrunner


Joystiq News

Allan Alvarez can complete the game Super Mario 64 faster than anyone in the world, which means that most days he gets out of bed around 4 PM.

Afternoons consist of errands -- lately, finding a new apartment and office space with reliable internet for streaming -- and training with his volleyball team. After dinner, he does a few rounds of arm and finger stretches, makes sure he's hydrated, then turns on the Nintendo 64 to practice. At around midnight in Spain -- 6 PM on the US East Coast and thus peak viewing hours -- he starts streaming on Twitch under his alias cheese05. His shift often wraps up close to 7 AM.

Alvarez is a full-time speedrunner; he competes with others around the world to beat a game in the fastest time possible. His primary game, the classic platformer Super Mario 64, is the most popular for speedrunners. Alvarez holds the world record for beating it: 120 stars, which essentially means conquering every goal in the game. It takes the average gamer about 24 hours to do this, according to, an online database of game lengths. Alvarez has done it in 1 hour, 39 minutes and 28 seconds, including cutscenes.

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