Going all the way back to the very first Donkey Kong arcade games, Mario has always been known for his jumping abilities. Many gamers cut their teeth on games like Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World, which are still considered classics to this day: not just because of how well-crafted they are, but how simple and fun they are. If it's Mario, it's all about the jumping.
Super Mario 64 wasn't that different when it was first released. Sure, it was in 3D and Mario could do more than ever, but it was still about jumping. Regardless of what stage they were on, players still had to guide Mario through the levels and grab the power stars with that one skill, and it was (and still is) a ridiculous amount of fun.
However, it seems that not everyone was satisfied with just jumping their way through the game. There's a subset of gamers out there that like to play their own way and not in the manner the developers intended. This usually involves some strange and oftentimes ridiculous stipulations, but the satisfaction of completing such a challenge is unlike anything else. For one player, that challenge was to best Super Mario 64 without the plumber's most important skill.
That's Scott Buchanan, otherwise known as 'pannenkoek2012.' Buchanan has dedicated himself to clearing Super Mario 64 with as few jumps as possible, and has actually managed to clear a large portion of the game without jumping at all. It sounds impossible - it even looks impossible half the time - but by studying the game and its physics, Buchanan has managed to find a way to do it.
By using the game's environmental hazards and Mario's running slide, Buchanan exploits the game's basic physics to his own advantage. Mario may take a hit every once in a while, but Buchanan still manages to make it through the stage. It should be noted that these videos are of the level's final run-through: while it may only take a minute or two to actually grab the Power Star, figuring out something as simple as climbing a box can take hours of trial-and-error.
Buchanan isn't just known for his no-jump runs, either. The 'Impossible Coin' glitch was something that stumped Mario fans for 18 years: by glitching the camera through the wall, players were able to find a coin that was seemingly impossible to get. While most players gave up on ever getting their hands on it, Buchanan was the first recorded player to find the coin with the help of some technical wizardry and sheer determination. One of gaming's biggest puzzles was finally solved, and by someone who hadn't even made it through college yet.
It all goes to show just how dedicated gamers can be. The guys and girls are finding new ways to play a game that well over a decade old: it's not just a testament to how the games themselves, but those who play them as well.