This Mario Kart Wii Shortcut Took Years To Pull Off
An extremely complex shortcut in Mario Kart Wii has finally been performed by a human. Take that, robots!
A notoriously tricky "ultra-shortcut" in Mario Kart Wii has been performed by a human, after years of attempts. The shortcut is on the final track, Rainbow Road, and though players have known about its theoretical existence for almost five years, no one has been able to pull it off.
As noted on Reddit, streamer @ArthuurrrP is the first person to have performed the shortcut. You can see it in the streamed video below: The racer stops and turns their kart just after the starting line, then rides the railing and hops over to a piece of the track, bypassing most of Rainbow Road and going straight to the finish line. Total lap time: 22.5 seconds. Doing this successfully is said to have taken thousands of hours.
This is one of the "ultra-shortcuts" in Mario Kart Wii, and a 2018 video from Summoning Salt explains what makes it so rare and tricky. Mario Kart Wii uses a series of checkpoints to load in and make sure you've finished the entire track in sequence, so if you find a shortcut, you need to trip those markers or it won't count your progress. This particular shortcut was discovered in March 2016, and had been recreated with bots, but there wasn't yet a record of a person actually performing it.
This almost mythical ultra-shortcut requires a very particular sequence of events. You have to turn around and ride just outside the rail, which is tricky enough. But then you need to perform a perfectly-timed drift dash off that tiny piece of ledge, hop at the correct angle, and then use another boost mushroom to make the extra distance. If you do all of that, perfectly in sequence, you manage to just barely land in the correct part of the track.
Obviously a shortcut that can only be performed once in five years isn't very functional for winning competitive races, but it's an impressive look at perseverance to pull off an almost-impossible gaming feat.