Tool-assisted game movies
When human skills are just not enough

MESHUGGAH / Forbidden Techniques

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Not present in BizHawk 2.3.1

Potential techniques requiring a so far not implemented feature.
  • Already present features with not perfect emulation are omitted (example: N64 core).
  • Rule conflicting techniques relying on a missing feature are also omitted (example: adapters).
A platform/game that polls for input from the console/controller multiple times within a single frame

Nearly all platforms allow to plug or unplug controllers while the console is powered on / game is playing
  • Potential techniques:

2 or more platforms/consoles connected together

  • AppleTalk
    • Apple II
  • Microdrive
    • ZX Spectrum

  • ComLynx cable
    • Only Lynx
    • Number of possible titles: 36
  • WSWAN Link cable
    • Only WSWAN
  • Game Link Cable (different generations) - Wiki

  • Sega Genesis Zero Tolerance System Link Cable
    • Only GEN and only the game Zero Tolerance
  • Gear-to-Gear Cable
    • Only GG
    • Number of possible titles: At least 100.
  • PlayStation Link Cable - Wiki
    • Only PSX
    • Number of possible titles: At least 50.
  • Taisen Cable
    • Only Sega Saturn
    • Number of possible titles: 10.

  • Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable
    • DC, NGP
    • Number of possible titles: 7.
  • Neo Geo Pocket Link Cable
    • Only NGP
    • Number of possible titles: At least 50.

  • Not implemented cores with networking:
    • Arcade
      • Various
    • WiFi/Network cable for...
      • Windows
      • DOS
      • Linux
      • MSX
      • Only Nintendo DS
      • Only Wii
    • GameCube – Game Boy Advance link cable - Wiki
      • GBA, GC
      • Number of possible titles: At least 50.

Checked (and bolded platforms with missing connectivity):

  • Arcade, Apple II, C64, MSX, ZX Spectrum
  • Windows, DOS, Linux
  • 2600, 7800, Lynx
  • INTV, Coleco,
  • NES, SNES, GB/GBA, GC, DS, N64, VBoy, Wii
  • GG, Genesis, Saturn (TODO: maybe 32x and CD too ?), 32x, CD, SG-1000, SMS
  • PSX
  • PC-FX, TG-16, PCE, SGFX
  • Uzebox

Techniques conflicting with rules

Potential and theory techniques disobeying TASvideos' rules (as of 2019/03/09).

  • Special exceptions like Rygar auto hold buttons post-TAS are excluded.
  • Movie publishing related problems independent of using not allowed techniques are excluded too (example: educational games or triviality).

Rule: MovieRules#NoTamperingWithTheFilesTheGameIsComposedOf

  • Emphasis on That means no renaming/copying/deleting/replacing/editing files that affect game-play.
  • SDA has a similar rule, ...interacting with the game other than through the gameplay itself is not allowed. This rule covers ... active methods (such as removing or altering a game disc/cartridge/file while the game is running).

Potential techniques:

  • Using built-in consoles accepting commands
    • Half-Life: Done Enormously Warped uses console commands (scripts (.cfg files) were written beforehand as they consist of binds for spamming wait commands and for stopping the individual segments (stop the demo, save the game), etc...).
    • Many PC games expose low-level operations such as ejecting the disk, creating or deleting files, making it very hard to generalize a rule for this kind of activity.
    • Using consoles usually requires to activate a cheat/developer/debug mode beforehand.
    • More examples: PC Quake, PC Morrowind, PC Source engine games
    • Number of possible titles: very high, few thousands.
  • Editing files (on platforms with the ability to edit part of a game)
    • Many PC games allow you to edit in-game variables stored in a .ini/.cfg (human readable format) file.
    • More examples: Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life, Skyrim.
    • Number of possible titles: low, maybe a few hundreds.
Theory techniques:
  • Repacking game data
    • Manipulating files to make more optimized to the game engine, shortening game load without changing the process of the gameplay
    • Number of possible titles: very low?
  • Changing files from the outside of playing the game
    • Modifying file permissions, for example, to don't allow reading cinematic files
    • Deleting specific files (executable related) but levels (game related)
    • Ejecting disk while installing, aborting the process to have an any% of game files
    • Copying memory card content to skip prompts about overwriting a save file.
      • The GameCube example has this flaw mentioned: This is not a legal GameCube operation since it cannot be booted into it's memory card manager, and run the game at the same time.
      • Most platforms requires an (first/third party) external device and/or a different software that's usually specifically made to edit files. TASVideos movies don't allow to power off and on the platform in the middle of the TAS.
    • Number of possible titles: very high, few thousands.

Rule: MovieRules#NoSkippingToTheEndWithAPassword

Judge: Mothrayas' last post says: No.

Rule: MovieRules#NoRandomizedOrUnverifiedCustomInitialRamState

Platforms/games that forgoes initializing initial memory

Rule: MovieRules#RomImageMustBeIntegral

Platforms and games that require external medium

  • Number of possible titles: Probably a hundred.

Rule: [MovieRules.html#DesmumeMovies]

Platforms/games that require an audio input.

According to the current state of rules, there are no real restrictions apart from being not copyrighted

Latest discussion: http://tasvideos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=483149#483149

  • Number of possible titles: Probably a hundred.

TODO: First focus on DOS problems TODO: Later add relevant PC fps problems

Rule: MovieRules#RomImageMustBeGood

Platforms/games not archived or the inability to ensure the game is really original, unmodified

  • FDS
    • If C64, DOS, and some other consoles have the privilege to make use of cracked ROMs, other platforms should also take advantage of with some more rules applied. Mostly pointing arrows towards this platform, which media is also degradable and is in a poopy situation.
    • Not approved method Erasing save files on FDS games
  • J2ME
    • (.jar mobile games) don't have a reliable archive collection.
    • These games usually modify themselves when saving settings or other things, making them unreversible to the original state after playing it at least once.
    • This is a bit of a problem because these files are easy to manipulate, so pirate released ones will include their graphics / texts, modifying the original game.
    • Other mobile platforms except for Android also doesn't seem to have a verified collection of ROMs.
  • Number of possible titles: more thousand.

Rule: MovieRules#RomImageMustBeGood

Platforms that accepts multiple game media

  • No official tools
  • Official tools as a peripheral
    • Sega Cards/My Card: (Power Base Converter/Master System Converter and Card Catcher)

Number of possible titles: Can not be estimated, probably thousands.

Rule: MovieRules#RomImageMustBeIntegral

Games with multiple discs

Games that also came in multicart format, not just standalone

  • Using a multicart version of a game can potentially change different game factors from simple lag frame differences to different starting memory states.
  • Example: NES Streemerz and other games from Action 53
  • Multicarts are not allowed when there's also a standalone version, see Mothrayas' last post
  • Number of possible titles: very low, maximum a hundred.

Relevant rule: MovieRules#GameMustBeReal

Platforms with adapters/converters non- or officially manufactured to play games released for other platforms

  • Atari 5200 A2600 adapter (official)
  • Intellivision System Changer A2600 adapter (official but third party)
  • Colecovision Expansion Module #1 to A2600 (official but third party)
  • Number of possible titles: very high, thousands

Rereleased consoles with different software/hardware

Rule: MovieRules#CheatsDebuggingCodesAndArcadeContinuesAreNotAllowed

Some games have mistakenly not disabled debug modes still accessible either by pressing a button or fulfilling a list of conditions.

Number of possible titles: Probably more thousands.

Dangerous and real-life hazards

Potential phenomena that could be considered for speedrunning purposes.

Recent post by feos

We do not allow events of the physical or hardware world to be used in TASes. Because these can't be emulated.
Somewhat relevant SDA rule (Impossible inputs):
As such actions require worn out controllers, non-standard controllers or excessive force, they are treated as hardware modification and are thus banned as well.
Platform that allows pulling of the game media + Games that forgoes erasing or writing initial memory

  • Number of possible titles: no known values, my estimation is a few hundred
  • Genesis: cart swapping to use region locked games
  • A7800:
It doesn't appear to have any ill effects, actually, on the system or the carts. However, it will crash the game in progress and, in about 80% of cases, will actually draw graphics stored on the second cartridge on the screen. Also, with a cart out of the slot the screen resolution apparently changes itself depending on the presence (or lack thereof) of a cartridge in the cartridge slot.

Physical interactions


Other link for Atari: http://www.ataricompendium.com/game_library/easter_eggs/vcs/vcs.html

Metal bread knife on Colecovision

Being a stupid kid, I would run a metal Bread knife along the board in the expansion slot of my Colecovision with the power on and game playing! Some of the more interesting "effects" was in the game Popeye it garbled the graphics/playfield,, somehow though it seemed to have the effect of combining 2 screens! The ship level was combined with the building level with the See-saw with Wimpy on the bottom. In Mr. Do! It mixed up colours and seemed to create invisible enemies (or make my character invisible) needless to say I wont be trying that with either of my current Colecovisions!

  • Kicking the console
    • SNES usually hangs up, only audio plays. I don't know working tricks based on kicking console.

Environmental conditions

Forbidden for good reasons


The natural life cycle of electronic, hardware parts has a birth, life and death. Eventually all parts die.

  • High-level view of parts used during playing a video game:
  Display <-- Platform <-- Controller
               v    ^
             Game media
Rule: MovieRules#BiosMustBeReal

Platforms using BIOS or firmware files.

  • Very similar to platform exploit with the difference of ability to get immediate effect by editing the BIOS/firmware to jump to credits.
  • That's being said, I don't see any real reason for a movie to abuse this.

Relevant rule from MovieRules#Playarounds: Arbitrary code payloads which have nothing to do with the game are not allowed. A payload which would work just as well contextually if executed on any other game for the platform will be rejected. TASVideos is not a place to show off your science projects.

  • My opinion
    • Exploiting the platform is not really a speedrun. We run the game and then we speedrun until the end.
    • Communicating directly with the console is an impressive feat. If it's that entertaining, there could be platform TASes, like "PSX Console any%".

SDA relevant informations

(From ais523)


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MESHUGGAH/ForbiddenTechniques last edited by TASVideoAgent on 2019-06-19 12:22:11
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