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Super Mario Odyssey glitch lets players break jump-rope minigame

How high can you go?

super mario odyssey jump rope challenge Nintendo via Polygon
Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

One of Super Mario Odyssey’s most notorious Power Moons, “Jump-Rope Genius,” has driven people to madness — and cheap workarounds — in their efforts to obtain it. But now, Super Mario Odyssey players have figured out a glitch with the Jump-Rope Challenge that completely breaks the minigame as well as its online leaderboard.

The Jump-Rope Challenge minigame sits in a city square early in Super Mario Odyssey’s Metro Kingdom, aka New Donk City. Two women are swinging a jump rope, and Mario must jump over the rope 100 straight times in order to bring forth a Power Moon. (There’s an easier-to-obtain Power Moon, “Jump-Rope Hero,” that only requires 30 jumps.) It takes a not-insignificant amount of skill to pull this off, even if you use the tips in our Super Mario Odyssey guide. Here’s our video of a successful attempt:

With a challenge this annoying, it’s not surprising that people have been looking for shortcuts. One easier method is to try jumping with Mario on a motor scooter, since the vehicle’s bounce is predictable.

You may or may not consider that a cheat. But vaulting yourself to the top of the leaderboards by taking advantage of a glitch definitely is.

Twitter user FourScore64 is just one of the people who have done this — they even posted a tutorial. Triggering the glitch isn’t a simple process: You have to throw Cappy above Talkatoo and engage him in conversation just before the hat hits the bird, then run over to the sidewalk on the west side of the park, then leap into the jump rope area and press R and ZR simultaneously. Mario will freeze at the apex of his leap, even though you’ll hear the sound effects associated with his jumps — and the counter will start ticking upward.

It’s worth noting that when a Polygon editor attempted to replicate this technique, they ran into a different bug whereby the camera got stuck on Talkatoo and the rope swingers. The game didn’t freeze; they could still move around as Mario, but the camera no longer moved with them.

FourScore64 wasn’t kidding about reaching 99,999: You can leave the minigame running in this glitched-out state, and eventually, the score will top out at 99,999 jumps. (It took 15 hours, according to FourScore64.)

No one would bat an eyelash if this kind of cheating only affected your own game. But the Jump-Rope Challenge minigame has an online leaderboard that tracks everyone’s scores around the world, so the glitch has effectively ruined that competition. The top 20 scores on the leaderboard — that’s all you can see, aside from scores near your own ranking — are now all 99,999, which suggests that all these people cheated their way to the top:

Super Mario Odyssey - Jump-Rope Challenge leaderboard with top scores of 99,999
So much for a fair competition.
Nintendo EPD/Nintendo via Polygon

We’ve reached out to Nintendo for comment on the glitch, and on how the company plans to fix it and the leaderboards, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive. For more on Super Mario Odyssey, read our review and check out our in-depth guide to the game’s Power Moons and everything else.

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