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Super Mario Bros. 3’s First 2 Seconds Fills 3,000 Pages of CPU Operations

via MOTHERBOARD

The tome covers the first two seconds comprising 120 frames of World 1-1 in Super Mario Bros. 3. It’s organized by frame, with a picture of said frame acting as a title card before Bierner lists the thousands of operations that go into rendering each individual moment. On average, each frame runs 9,750 operations.

To accomplish this task, Bierner collected the data using an emulator—which virtually recreates a console on a modern PC in order to run old games—and a trace logger to capture the executed instructions. He used a script to capture screenshots of each frame and converted the raw data into an html book.

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