RTA Guide/Timing Guide

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Super Mario 64 follows the JRTA timing convention, meaning runs start on console reset/power on. These may look slightly different based on which platform you're using and how you are restarting the game. This page aims to serve as a guide for timing your SM64 speedruns and/or retiming your runs using the raw recording or twitch/youtube VOD.

Timing Conventions

This section explains how to time your runs in real-time using splits software. It is important to remember these programs have no effect on what the time of your actual run is and they only exist for convenience (i.e. forgetting to split when you grab the star won't make your run any slower). However, following this guide should make it so that it is as accurate as possible.

SM64 Logo 1.33s Rule (N64/EMU)

For runs done on Nintendo 64 or Emulator, the first frame of the logo appearing is used as a frame of reference to "sync" runs which use the reset button and the power on switch. The convention is that the first frame of the logo appears 1.33 seconds into the run. On emulator, the graphical reset may lag inconsistently so the first frame of logo is used for retiming purposes. There is an autosplitter that many people use, which detects resets using the appearance of the logo.. It is strongly recommended to set this up as it is very convenient and accurate and will save you (and the mods) a lot of headache.

N64/Emulator Manual Timing

For manually starting the timer, you can use the offsets so that you can hit the power on switch/reset button at the same time that you start your times. Keep in mind these offsets are still prone to human error and possibly differences in setups, so you might want to test and tweak these offsets to match your setup.

  • For N64, using power on a typical offset is to start your timer at -1.00.
  • For N64, using the reset button an offset between -1.20 and -1.30s is standard.
  • For Emulator, no offset is needed generally, reset (press F1 on PJ64) and start splits at the same time, it is fine if the timer starts before game switches to the black screen before the logo.

Wii VC

For Wii VC, the run starts on the first frame of the black screen before the Classic Controller text. Generally, you can start the timer at 0.00 and hit the reset button the Wii at the same time. Restarting with the WiiMote is not recommended as it is inconvenient and the black screen before the controller text lasts longer.

Wii U VC

For Wii U VC, the run starts on the first frame of the black screen before the Super Mario 64 logo.

Gallery of Resets

The following images show resets on various platforms along with a timer synced with their respective starts.

  • N64 power on
  • N64 reset
  • Wii U VC reset
  • Wii VC reset with reset button
  • Wii VC reset with WiiMote (don't do this)
  • A reset on Project64, synced via the 1.33s rule