Why it matters: After nearly 37 years, you’d think that players would have discovered everything there is to know about one of the most recognizable video games ever made. Take the innocent multi-coin block, for example. What’s the maximum number of coins you can get out of a single block before it expires? If you’re like most, you probably answered “10” but you’d be wrong.
Surely a timeless classic like Super Mario Bros. has nothing left to give the community, right?
As it turns out, the multi-coin block has a time limit rather than a coin limit. As renowned speedrunner Kosmic explained in a recent video on the subject, squeezing the absolute maximum amount of coins out of a single multi-coin block comes down to timing, execution and a bit of luck.
To understand how the coin block works, you need to be conscious of frame rules – rules that the developers used to keep track of time in the game. Another speedrunner, Bismuth, describes frame rules in great detail in a separate video.
Armed with that knowledge and the fact that you’ve got just 230 frames to collect as many coins as possible under optimal conditions, it’s possible to hammer out 15 coins from the block in just 224 frames. Note that it takes 16 frames between each hit for the block to be ready to spit out another coin; hit it too fast, and you’ll get nothing.
Also note that the first coin is essentially free since the timer hasn’t started yet, and the block will always have one coin available after the frame rule ticks have passed.
With perfect timing, you can collect a total of 16 coins from one multi-coin block. Neat.
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