Normally, when you hit the credits sequence in a game, you either zone out or lie back and leisurely take it in, but not in Smash Bros. The party fighting game franchise is known for having a minigame at the end of its single-player campaign where players are tasked with zapping every name before it disappears from the screen. It’s such an iconic part of the series that you’d think someone would have gotten the top score in the most revered entry of the franchise, Super Smash Bros. Melee, but no.
Until 2021, absolutely nobody had managed to hit all 190 names in the Melee sequence. But then a man by the name of Nathaniel Bandy put out a challenge to the community: The first person to nail every credit would win $3,000 out of Bandy’s own pocket. The run had to be on actual hardware, and recorded so that viewers could see the actual inputs on the controller. The deadline would be March 31, also known as the meme day where some Nintendo games arbitrarily vanish from existence.
Over a week later, someone — Martin Zarate — was finally good for it. Zarate told Polygon via Twitter that it took about 50 hours to accomplish, with practice for individual sections clocking in at about a dozen hours each.
“The most challenging part would be the voice actors, they come in all different directions and there is no room for error,” he said. “After you get the hardest part of the credits, you gonna stay composed and hit the rest.”
According to Zarate, it likely took this long for anyone to do this because there wasn’t any incentive attached. The last known record happened over a decade ago, in 2007, when a player managed to hit 182 of the sequences. But also, Zarate recognized that it’s a challenging task.
“You had to learn a different control style, memorize the pattern and executive very difficult inputs,” he said.
The money, he said, will go toward his tuition — Zarate is getting a degree in parks and natural resources, with the hopes of perhaps becoming a park ranger.
For now, though, the Melee community is celebrating his accomplishments. As top Melee player Mew2King wrote in the comments for the YouTube video: “Wait for real???”