Most people have probably heard about "Kaizo hacks". These are edited versions of the game Super Mario World (SMW) designed to be very difficult. There have been some "kaizo hacks" of other games like Sonic 1, pokemon emerald, and there are also games created with intention to be particularly difficult like super meat boy and i wanna be the guy.

But SMW hackers have taken this to another level, and started designing levels that are meant to be difficult even with use of tools like savestates and frame-by-frame. These have become known as "pit hacks" by the community, named after MoltovMarioWorld's Pit of Despair. Since then many more such hacks have been made. There has been some competition to make an hack as difficult as possible, requiring subpixel perfect tricks, glitches and throughout knowledge of the mechanics of the game. Some famous ones include living on the edge and item abuse 3.

One possible way to try to measure their difficulty is the number of rerecords (Of course since often TASers want to also optimize their runs, this might not be the best measure, but I think it still can give a rough idea). Most difficult modern pit hacks seem to take about 2-3 rerecords per each frame to complete. Recently two tasers known as OliveBates and xKingBulletbillx released an hack named "The End" which is claimed to have taken 4 years to make, and to have taken about 73 rerecords per frame.

My question is: has this phenomenon happened in any other game communities? Are there other games that have been hacked to be as difficult as possible even using tools, or even non-hacked games created just for that purpose, or is this something exclusive to the SMW community?


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