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Check out the section under "DemoActionData": this is where it stores (and plays) the demo you see when you don't push Start and Mario runs around on his own volition.

It just simulates player input and runs it through the regular game engine. (The alternative, playing a recorded video, would have been laughably data intensive.)

Same thing goes for Super Mario 64. The popular TASer pannenkoek actually explored whether it was possible to manipulate Demo-Mario's starting position in such a way that he collects a star with the demo input (this was for the purposes of special "A-Button Challenge" speedruns, where pressing the A-Button must be kept to a minimum, but since the demo input isn't actual player input it isn't counted) Sadly I think there was no conceivable way to do it. (i.e. manipulating the starting position is possible, but not in a way that leads to collecting a star)


That's an amazing youtube channel. Here [1] the creator describes in an over seven-minute long video the intricacies of Mario falling asleep.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OtW-LLZ2OA

That's nothing! He has two videos on walls, floors and ceilings, each longer than half an hour (and both of them extremely interesting)

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnU7DJXiMAQ

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1kbABTyeo8

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