Spinning is a method of making Mario move quickly simply by pressing the Z button (or L button on Virtual Console). In all categories, the Speedy Spin badge is obtained after Chapter 1, which allows Mario to spin even faster and for a slightly longer period of time.
Interestingly, when Mario spins into an item, he finishes the entire spin animation in place before the item is actually picked up. This is much slower than picking up items while not spinning, which is why speedrunners make an effort to cancel Mario's spin before interacting with an item.
Towards the end of the spin animation, Mario will slow down to a complete stop. Thankfully, jumping out of a spin with good timing cancels this slowdown, and allows Mario to move at walking speed while in the meantime. Optimally, Mario should spin cancel with a short hop immediately before his speed begins to decline. The best time to jump is as follows:
Without Speedy Spin: Frame 16 of the spin (just over 1/2 a second)
With Speedy Spin: Frame 20 of the spin (exactly 2/3 of a second)
Spins can be buffered and stringed together by inputting the spin button on frame 15 - 17 without Speedy Spin, or on frames 19 - 21. Since it is optimal to jump cancel on frame 16 or 20, it is optimal to buffer a spin on frame 15 or 19 respectively. This will automatically make Mario spin on the first available frame, but is obviously quite difficult.
Jump Spin-Cancels Edit
Jump Spin-Cancels can be used virtually anywhere. To perform a jump spin-cancel, Mario simply needs to jump while spinning. Because Mario's speed while jumping is still slower than his speed while spinning, it is optimal to short hop by pressing A and releasing it in 1 frame (1/30 of a second).
Ledge Spin-Cancels Edit
Ledge spin-cancels are a more-optimal form of Spin-Cancels, but can only be used in specific locations. When Mario passes over a step, ledge, or change in terrain that does not require him to jump, his spin is automatically cancelled. As a result, Mario can instantly spin again without needing to jump. This effectively eliminates the need to jump spin-cancel, making it significantly faster. This difference in speed is enough to warrant moving slightly out of the way to perform a ledge spin cancel instead of moving in a straight line.
Fall Spin-Cancels Edit
When Mario begins falling, his spin is automatically cancelled, and upon landing, Mario will be able to spin again.
Hammer Spin-Cancels Edit
The hammer can be used for the purpose of cancelling the spin animation; however, Hammer Spin-Cancels are not optimal in any known circumstances.
Wall Spin-Cancels Edit
If Mario runs into a wall while spinning at certain angles, his spin will be automatically cancelled after a few frames. If Mario's angle is absolutely perfect while moving parallel to a wall, his speed will slightly increase, and the spin will be cancelled on an optimal frame. This can be used to string spins together, which, when combined with Speedy Spin, is the fastest form of movement in the game. In the majority of cases, Wall Spin-Cancels are only performed in Tool-Assisted Speedruns due to their difficulty. In instances where they can be performed in an RTA speedrun, they can be performed by holding the correct angle on the control stick while mashing the spin button.
Directional Momentum Cancels Edit
Inputting a spin and an angle on the same frame allows Mario to completely cancel his directional momentum by neutralizing the control stick. Afterwards, Mario can regain this directional momentum during the same spin when holding any angle on the control stick. While this technique is not useful when it comes to moving optimally, it can be used to skip buffering a spin in the Chapter 7 Kooper Cutscene Skip.
There are three badges in the game that impact Mario's spin. The most important of these three badges in speedrunning is Speedy Spin, which is obtained in all categories.
Speedy Spin Edit
The Speedy Spin badge can be purchased from Rowf's Badge Shop for 50 coins, and requires 1 Badge Point to equip. Gathering coins is essential in the early game for this reason, since Speedy Spin will be purchased in all speedrun categories. Speedy Spin increases the speed and distance of Mario's spin, not only saving time, but making it easier to dodge enemies.
Dizzy Attack Edit
Found on Pleasant Path, this can be used to make Mario's spin stun enemies in the field. This can be useful in the Glitchless category to encounter Bombshell Bills in Bowser's Castle and successfully run away from them. Using the invincibility frames following the encounter, Mario can run right through Bombshell Bill Blasters, skipping the fights. The badge requires 2 Badge Points to equip, and does not impact Mario's speed.
- See video tutorial for Glitchless Cannonless
Badge Shop RNG Edit
Rowf's Badge Shop opens after the completion of Chapter 1, and four badges will be available from the shop at that point. Because Rowf's Badge Shop will only have three badges for sale at a time, there is a 1/4 chance Speedy Spin will not appear when Mario first visits the shop after Chapter 1. In the event this happens, Mario can travel two loading zones away to reset the available badges in Rowf's Badge Shop. The fastest method of doing this is entering West Toad Town where Harry's Shop is located, then returning to Rowf's Badge Shop. After the completion of Chapters 2, 3, 4, and 5, additional badges become available, lowering the chance of Speedy Spin appearing.
Tricks and Glitches that use spinning Edit
There are several glitches and tricks that involve spinning as a core use of the trick. Note: glitches that use a spin buffer as part of the setup are not included, as other buffers, such as a Hammer Buffer or Pause Buffer can generally be used instead.
Footrace with Kolorado the Quick Edit
Footrace with Kolorado the Quick is a glitch in Chapter 5 that allows Mario to skip a small cutscene with Kolorado in the room before Lava Piranha. By performing wall spin-cancels along the top wall of the room, Mario can skip the cutscene trigger and proceed to the next room. This glitch is only useful in the any% and any% no wrong warp categories, although at the time of writing it is not generally used by runners.
Chapter 7 Kooper Skip Edit
Chapter 7 Kooper Skip is a cutscene skip that can be performed during the "guess Kooper" event in Crystal Palace. With good positioning, Mario is able to spin past the area into the next loading zone, allowing Mario to skip the cutscenes related to the event. There are two different setups for this trick.
Glitchless Cannonless Edit
Glitchless Cannonless is the glitchless alternative to the cannonless glitch in Chapter 8, allowing Mario to skip the "required" fights with the Bombshell Bill Blasters (golden cannons). To do this, Mario will equip the Dizzy Attack badge, which is obtained in Chapter 1 on Pleasant Path. Mario will then spin in front of the cannons, causing the Bombshell Bills to hit him without getting first struck. Mario will then run away, and use the invincibility frames from the Bombshell Bill encounters to walk past the cannons. This is done four times.
- See video tutorial for Glitchless Cannonless