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Personal information
Scott Buchanan

c. 1994[1]
YouTube information
Years active2010–present
Genre(s)Gaming, Super Mario 64 analyses
Subscribers204,000+ (pannenkoek2012)
123,000+ (UncommentatedPannen)
Total views49.40 million+ (pannenkoek2012)
33.23 million+ (UncommentatedPannen)
100,000 subscribers

Last updated: April 13, 2024

Scott Buchanan,[1][2][3] known online as Pannenkoek2012, pannenkoek2012, pannenkoek or pannen (/ˈpænɪnkək/ [a]), is a YouTube personality who specializes in highly in-depth and technical Super Mario 64 videos. He is best known for his "A-button challenge" videos, in which he attempts to play Super Mario 64 while pressing the A-button as infrequently as possible. The A-button is the "jump" button, and a normal playthrough of Super Mario 64 can be expected to take thousands of A-presses.[1]

In 2014, he received media attention for collecting a particular coin which, due to a bug, had been thought to be uncollectable.[5] In 2015, he offered a US$1,000 bounty to anyone who could recreate a rare but useful Super Mario 64 glitch called an "upwarp" that was accidentally performed by DOTA_TeaBag.[6] As of 2024, the bounty has not been claimed. One theory, held by some, is that the upwarp in question was caused by a one-off bit flip caused by a cosmic ray, although this is not universally agreed upon.[7][8]

Super Mario 64 videos[edit]

As a kid, Super Mario 64 was the first video game pannenkoek2012 ever played.[5] In 2013, while still in college, he started uploading Super Mario 64 videos to YouTube.[1] These videos showcased his attempts to complete all of Super Mario 64 without pressing the A button (the jump button, Mario's primary ability), making use of environmental hazards and various glitches instead.[2] These alternative strategies are often only possible with tool assistance.

Pannenkoek has produced many in-depth YouTube videos deconstructing the mechanics of Super Mario 64, which have been described as esoteric "programming lessons".[9] In one video, pannenkoek explains how a player can manipulate the random number generator of Super Mario 64 by kicking up dust in a certain way. Despite the highly arcane nature of these videos, videos on pannenkoek's main channel regularly get hundreds of thousands of views.[9]

He also runs a second channel, UncommentatedPannen, where he uploads raw footage without commentary. He does not upload videos to his main channel if they fail to meet his standards of quality.[10]

A-button challenge[edit]

A closeup of a Nintendo 64 controller showing the A button (bottom, blue), which pannenkoek2012 has challenged himself to avoid pressing

The bulk of pannenkoek2012's videos are about the "A button challenge" (ABC), a self-imposed challenge whose ultimate goal is to complete Super Mario 64 while pressing the A button as little as possible.[1] In regular gameplay, the A-button makes Mario jump; this is one of the fundamental game mechanics of Super Mario 64, a platformer whose gameplay has been described as "all about jumping".[11][12] It is possible to jump without the A-button in very rare, but useless circumstances.[13] In one video, pannenkoek shows that it is possible to collect the star in the level "Mario Wings to the Sky" without pressing the A button at all. To do this, pannenkoek uses glitches that enable him to "clone" a large amount of Goombas to form a ladder. This took two years of planning, and the video took 55 hours to make.[14]

On January 12, 2016, pannenkoek uploaded a commentated video in which he explains how to complete the level "Watch for Rolling Rocks" in "half an A-press".[15] His strategy originally took 14.8 hours from start to finish,[16] most of which were spent using a glitch to accelerate Mario to the high speeds necessary for "parallel universe" movement.[17][18][failed verification] This was reduced to 5.4 hours in 2017.[16] The video became popular and was widely spoofed online for its incredibly obtuse and technical content, especially pannenkoek's "half A-press" notation (meaning that he began the level with the A button already held down) and his use of parallel universes (a collision glitch caused by integer overflow).[17][19][better source needed] On October 1, 2023, pannenkoek uploaded an updated video of Watch for Rolling Rocks in 0 A presses[20][21][22] using a technique named "Mario's platform adventure" (MPA) documented by Thadortin only a week prior.[23] This strategy also saved time over the previous Watch for Rolling Rocks ABC run in 1:49:16.77 by Marbler from 10 days earlier.[24] In August 2013, when pannenkoek began working on the A button challenge, over 200 A-presses were required to complete Super Mario 64.[25][user-generated source] As of October 2023, a 120-star playthrough of Super Mario 64 can be completed in as few as 13 A-presses.[26][27][non-primary source needed] A 70-star ABC (70ABC) or 98-star max% run can be completed in 0 A presses.

Impossible coins[edit]

In June 2014, pannenkoek collected what was known as "the impossible coin", an item hidden in the level "Tiny-Huge Island", which was originally considered impossible to reach. The coin was discovered in 2002 by a GameFAQs message board user named Josiah.[28] Likely due to an oversight by the game's developers, the coin was placed underneath the ground. Pannenkoek managed to collect it using tool assistance by jumping and kicking on a single frame while moving out of water. He noted that it should be possible to collect the coin without tool assistance, but he added that doing so would be very difficult and require a lot of practice.[5]

In the Super Mario 64 level "Bowser in the Sky", pannenkoek discovered a misplaced Goomba located at the bottom of the level, which he dubbed the "mystery Goomba". Since Goombas drop a coin once killed, and the enemy currently seems to be impossible to kill, he called the mystery Goomba's coin the "new" impossible coin.[29] In October 2016, pannenkoek discovered another impossible coin in "Tiny-Huge Island".[30]

Other videos[edit]

In September 2013, Twitch streamer DOTA_TeaBag encountered a glitch in the Super Mario 64 level "Tick Tock Clock" in which Mario suddenly teleports upwards. In 2015, this "upwarp" caught pannenkoek2012's attention, as replicating the glitch could allow players to skip large sections of the game or reduce the required number of A-presses. Pannenkoek offered a US$1,000 prize to anyone who could recreate the upwarp glitch without modifying the game.[31][32]

The bounty has not been claimed. However, the glitch's effect can be replicated by modifying the game and flipping a single bit of memory. Since no legitimate method for flipping this bit has been found, it has been speculated that, in DOTA_TeaBag's case, a stray cosmic ray caused the bit to change. This would mean that it is very unlikely for the glitch to occur again naturally.[33]

Pannenkoek started working on a video detailing the workings of Super Mario 64's geometry in summer 2016. He eventually finished this video in May 2017, releasing it under the title "Walls, Floors, & Ceilings". The video details how Mario's movement is measured in the game―it varies depending on whether Mario is located on the ground, in the air, or in water―and how the character interacts with the hitboxes of objects along the way. Pannenkoek noted that he considers the information in this video "extremely important", as he has been using this information to help him execute or dismiss strategies for years. Gamasutra described this video as a "passionate delve into the most granular details of level design".[34][35] Since then, pannenkoek has released two more "Walls, Floors, & Ceilings" videos.

In March 2019, pannenkoek uploaded a number of "no joystick allowed" videos in which he completes levels in Super Mario 64 without using the controller's analog stick, which is ordinarily how the player moves Mario.[36]


  1. ^ A pannenkoek is a Dutch pancake, and is pronounced IPA: [ˈpɑnə(ŋ)ˌkuk] . Thus, a Dutch pronunciation of the full username would be IPA: [ˈpɑnə(ŋ)ˌkuk tʋeːˈdœyzənˈtʋaːl(ə)f] . However, pannenkoek2012 uses an Americanized spelling pronunciation, /ˈpænɪnkək t ˈθzənd ˈtwɛlv/, to refer to himself.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hernandez, Patricia (2014-11-11). "The Man Who Does The Impossible In Super Mario 64". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  2. ^ a b Schneider, Steven (2014-11-12). "How to beat 'Super Mario 64'...without jumping". Tech Times. Archived from the original on 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  3. ^ Macauley, Sara (2016-10-25). "This Guy Discovered A Never Before Seen Mario 64 Coin, And The Internet Is Shocked". Esquire. Archived from the original on 2022-11-16. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  4. ^ pannenkoek2012. "SM64 - The 255 Coin Limit". YouTube. Archived from the original on 11 December 2022. Retrieved 24 August 2022. Event occurs at 0:05. "Hey guys. It's-a me, pannenkoek2012."
  5. ^ a b c Hernandez, Patricia (2014-07-08). "The Super Mario 64 Coin That Took 18 Years To Collect". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  6. ^ SM64 - TTC Upwarp $1000 Bounty, retrieved 2024-03-08
  7. ^ By (2021-02-17). "Cosmic Ray Flips Bit, Assists Mario 64 Speedrunner". Hackaday. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  8. ^ Donald, Malcolm (2020-09-16). "How An Ionizing Particle From Outer Space Helped A Mario Speedrunner Save Time". TheGamer. Retrieved 2024-03-07.
  9. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (2016-05-16). "Watch how Super Mario 64 is teaching millions the nitty-gritty of game design". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  10. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (August 14, 2017). "YouTube's Mario 64 Genius Sounds Overwhelmed With His Popularity". Kotaku. Archived from the original on August 15, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2022.
  11. ^ Oxford, Nadia (2016-01-27). "YouTuber Manipulates Enemies, Makes Parallel Universes to Grab Star in Super Mario 64". USGamer. Archived from the original on 2016-06-24.
  12. ^ "Der Mann, der "Super Mario 64" ohne zu springen meistert". (in German). 2015-03-18. Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  13. ^ Jumping Without Pressing A, retrieved 2023-12-07
  14. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (2015-04-06). "19 Years Later, Super Mario 64 Player Finds New Way To Use Goombas". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-01-05.
  15. ^ Devore, Jordan (2016-01-12). "This Mario 64 glitch walkthrough broke my brain". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  16. ^ a b Gach, Ethan (2017-12-17). "Mario 64 Experts Discover An Even Shorter Way To Beat Level Without Jumping". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2022-12-10. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  17. ^ a b Wilbur, Brock (2016-02-11). "How 'Mario 64' Teaches Us About Parallel Universes". Inverse. Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  18. ^ Klepek, Patrick (2016-01-13). "Expert Mario 64 Player Demonstrates His Most Advanced Techniques". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  19. ^ Ligman, Kris (2016-07-11). "Cultivating parallel universes in Manifold Garden". ZAM. Archived from the original on 2016-10-28. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  20. ^ HMC Watch for Rolling Rocks 0xA, retrieved 2023-10-02
  21. ^ Bailey, Dustin (2023-10-03). "After 7 years, the most infamous meme in the history of Mario speedrunning has been put to rest with a 14-hour time save". GamesRadar+. Retrieved 2023-10-07.
  22. ^ SM64 - TAS Console Verification - Watch for Rolling Rocks in 0x A Presses by pannenkoek2012, Marbler, and Thadortin - rcombs on Twitch, 2023-10-01, retrieved 2023-10-17
  23. ^ HMC New Elevator Glitch (Elevator Escape), retrieved 2023-10-02
  24. ^ HMC: Watch for Rolling Rocks 0.5xA Faster PU Route [TAS], retrieved 2023-10-02
  25. ^ "History of the A Button Challenge". 23 January 2021. Archived from the original on 2022-12-28. Retrieved 2021-03-18.
  26. ^ "The Remaining 14 A Presses - YouTube". Youtube. Archived from the original on 2022-11-20. Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  27. ^ "SM64 120 Star ABC Route". Google Docs. Archived from the original on 2022-12-08. Retrieved 2022-09-06.
  28. ^ Bright, Curtis. " - The Impossible Coin". Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  29. ^ Gerardi, Matt (2014-08-08). "The quest for Super Mario 64's "impossible coins" and "mystery Goomba"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on 2016-07-01.
  30. ^ Frank, Allegra (2016-10-24). "Super Mario 64 has one coin you will never be able to collect". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2016-10-25. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  31. ^ Plunkett, Luke (2015-04-08). "$1,000 Bounty Offered For Mario 64 Glitch". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2016-06-12. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  32. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (2015-08-05). "Win a $1000 Bounty for Finding This 'Mario 64' Glitch". Motherboard. Archived from the original on 2016-06-29.
  33. ^ "How An Ionizing Particle From Outer Space Helped A Mario Speedrunner Save Time". TheGamer. 2020-09-16. Archived from the original on 2021-02-09. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
  34. ^ Gach, Ethan (2017-05-28). "Everything You Wanted To Know About Super Mario 64's Surfaces". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2017-06-12. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  35. ^ Wawro, Alex (2017-05-30). "Speedrunner breaks down the walls, floors and ceilings of Super Mario 64". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 2017-06-03. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  36. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (2019-04-03). "Super Mario 64 player beats Bowser level without using joystick". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2019-03-05. Retrieved 2019-03-11.

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