When I play Spider Solitaire I play on the easiest skill setting (one suit), but set for myself one of two unusual objectives. The first involves trying to win with the fewest possible moves. That means no breaking existing runs or creating empty rows that force an extra move to fill the gap. The other involves dealing out all of the cards at once, then trying to work through the resulting mass of 104 cards without ever getting stymied. I've managed to win only a few times playing this way in the hundreds of attempts I've made over the last decade.
I like to think that YouTube poster NotEntirelySure had his head in a vaguely similar place when he attempted his own unusual record: Lowest possible score in a Super Mario Bros. run (see video in sidebar). It's a completely counter-intuitive endeavour, yet one that demands at least as much skill and precision as the much more popular speed run.
The eight-and-a-half minute video he posted on YouTube last week is proof of the talent required. In each level he performs a series of dazzlingly tricky jumps that see him expertly miss every coin and power-up in the game while at the same time dodging (nearly) every enemy he encounters. He finishes up each level by touching the flagpole exactly when the timer reaches zero in order to avoid any bonuses.
His score? A measly 600 points.
And all of these points are, it seems to me, unavoidable. Five hundred come from those level-ending flags (each worth 100 points). The remaining 100 come from a goomba that it appears he absolutely needs to squash in order to get a bit of extra distance on a jump over a sprawling chasm in World 8-1 while avoiding a couple of coins that float above it.
Point being, it appears to me as though this is one record that simply cannot be broken short of cheating or hacking the game. Assuming the games edition of the Guinness World Book of Records picks it up, NotEntirelySure is likely to have his name immortalized for as long as video games remain popular, proving that there is merit to his madness.
Now if I can just convince the book's editors to recognize my astonishing 87-move win in Spider Solitaire...