The blocks of the original Super Mario Bros. released for the NES hide many more coins than we thought until now, as discovered by a curious player who has investigated the code of the title, who already has more than 37 years behind him. As you well know if you have played the classic platform starring the Nintendo plumber, the blocks with a question mark can hold up to 10 coins that can be obtained if they are hit repeatedly. However, it turns out that in reality, the blocks do not have a coin limit, but rather a time limit .
Kosmic, the player credited with making the discovery, is currently in the top 10 in the classic ‘s speedrunning category. In his quest to find more effective methods to reduce the time of his games to break speed records, Kosmic has discovered that blocks with a question mark can extract up to 16 coins instead of 10 thanks to the well-known “frame rule”. What exactly does this rule consist of? Roughly, the user comments that it is a repeating cycle of 21 frames that Super Mario Bros. uses to dictate various aspects of the game.
This algorithm can be used to the benefit of the player if he is skilled and quick at the controls. In this way, Kosmic has determined that the maximum time to hit a block is 230 frames (about 3.8 seconds) after executing the first hit. If this figure is divided by the 16 frames that Mario must wait for the block animation to play before he can hit it again, we get 14 hits and therefore 14 coins . What happens to the remaining two coins? As Kosmic explains, we get a “free” coin at both the beginning and the end of this entire sequence because the block stays active until we hit it one more time after its timer runs out.