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This run is definitely not with the intention of obsoleting the published SMB any% TAS! This movie aims to present what the fastest and the best SMB PAL TAS would look like. It improves MUGG's submission for 66 frames, and tubby's TAS for 46 frames.
The Europe version of SMB is an official game run in PAL mode. The physics are almost identical, but the speed values are set differently, causing more potential glitches. TASes on this version are only faster due to a different version of flagpole glitch, which allows Mario to skip the castles without the help of other enemies or entering the ground.

New Trick: Falling into the Ground

It's probably no secret that Mario can sometimes fall into the ground after stomping on an enemy in SMB Europe version, but to do this without the help of anything but a lift is something new. The lift is still required for manipulating Y position before jumping. This trick is used in 1-2, saving 18 frames (a frame rule).

Time Saver: Faster Acceleration

It's faster to accelerate on the floor in this version. This simple new way of acceleration saves 18 frames in 8-3, and 10 frames in 8-4 (along with other arrangements).
This run also differs from the normal SMB any% TAS on details. For example, only in this TAS is Mario able to kick some shells in 8-1, and to show the 1-UP mushroom in 8-2, to walljump on the higher floor and to swim through the ceiling in 8-4.
I'm submitting it here mostly to show people what the best SMB PAL TAS would look like, regardless of whether it has reached TASVideos' standard for publication.

Nach: Let me start off by saying that judging this was one of the most difficult to judge TASs. The verdict I'm presenting here is based off of the current rules and knowledge I have regarding this run. It is subject to be revisited if anything significant changes. It should also be noted that no matter what the decision here is, a large chunk of people will not be happy with it. I will however lay out some additional info not discussed in the thread which factored into my decision.
Before I dive in, let me also iterate that this was an entertaining run, and there is little to dispute that, certainly by the audience at large.

NTSC vs. PAL theory

In terms of PAL games in general, different platforms, different companies, and different games all exhibit varying levels of quality. Obviously if a PAL game is the original then it can be easily considered the main version of a game. For some platforms, there are also no difference game-wise if something is running in NTSC or PAL mode. However, for platforms designed to be timed and framed into old television sets, there are important differences between the two modes.
Once there is a difference between the two, games designed for NTSC which are not modified for PAL generally exhibit some very weird behavior. As one example, I've seen fighting games where the key combos to execute various moves barely work when playing in PAL mode, the timing is altered enough that the game doesn't recognize the key presses the same way. As many PAL ports are like this in some fashion, it's ample reason to reject them, Just play the original which works normally.

Game variants on TASVideos

When we look at PAL ports, we must understand that these games are adaptions or variants of the original. Although there are many kinds of variants. Some variants are ports to a later platform. One kind of variant such as those seen in Mario Bros. has completely different levels (even though all the levels are repetitive). Some variants like those in the Street Fighter 2 series are the same game but with changes with varying levels of importance. Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge exists in two variants where the entire game is the same, except one has a boomerang as a secondary weapon, and the other has a throw-able ax. The Pokémon series has game variants at each generation, generally limited to monster selection, where a dozen out of 150+ are different (which may not differ at all with certain glitches exploited), but barely has any affect on how a well planned run plays. Other differences are ports from the NES to SNES to Gameboy Advance and so on. The deciding factor in how these are dealt with on the site always boils down to how identical are the engines, and how unique and interesting is the gameplay that each variant offers over others.
Taking SMB2 as an example, the SNES variant adds on a save game feature which can be abused which can change the warped route considerably. Same for the Gameboy Advance variant, which further has other game changes. Due to these considerable changes in what one would see in a TAS for them, we have accepted them all.
In the case of Pokémon, since the engine/quality of the game between say Blue and Red is identical, and the observable changes in a TAS are insignificant, any new record with one will always obsolete the other.
In the case of various Street Fighter games, there is a large similarity to the TASs being produced. The audience at large doesn't notice much other than some Street Fighter characters are more or less beating up the same set of Street Fighter characters, using many of the same moves. In these kinds of cases, we have the best version of the game obsolete the others. Best version often is based on figuring out which has the broadest set of move possibilities, most fluid version of the fighting engine, and so on.
We haven't had multiple variants of Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge submitted yet, but if someone submits a boomerang heavy run with sizable differences from the existing ax run, I can see accepting them side by side. It's sort of like accepting various X and Zero runs side by side for the later Megaman X PSX games (note: I rejected some MMX5 runs for being too similar to others).
In terms of Mario Bros. since a full variety run of levels while similar is quite different, we have accepted both.

NTSC vs. PAL in practice

If a PAL port offered the exact same engine/quality as the original, it could make sense to have it obsolete the original (and this could make sense to occur in games that are not meant for old television sets). If a PAL port offers a somewhat different engine, the question becomes whether it deserves to be added to the list of accepted variants alongside the original. The answer to that hinges on do the engine differences necessitate very different ways to play the game, and do those differences register with the audience at large. In most cases, PAL runs should be rejected, but based on the various aforementioned criteria, there are cases where PAL runs will definitely be accepted.
Nintendo unlike other companies has always aimed to do a decent job porting NTSC games to PAL. Nintendo is often one of the only companies where you will see the PAL game having various timings corrected to ensure that the game-play closely matches that of the NTSC version. Nintendo is often one of the only companies that adjusts the resolution of the displayed game to match the different resolution PAL televisions are capable of. Nintendo often also does some localization, converting currency, weight, and measurements to be those used locally. The attention to detail by Nintendo in PAL porting started with early NES games, and improved as Nintendo ported more and more and with newer platforms.

This game in particular

For its time in history and in comparison to a bunch of other early NES PAL games, Super Mario Bros. PAL is actually a relatively decent port (although maintains several noticeable differences from the NTSC original in terms of movement and other factors). Since the game is non-original but a decent port (relatively during its debut), it definitely qualifies for consideration as to whether it should be published alongside the original as another game variant.
This game happens to also be a game I'm quite familiar with. I played many of its variants on NES (since the 80s!), SNES, and Gameboy Color. I also dabbled in its programming and made various hacks on NES and SNES versions. In my opinion, I find this game qualifies for having many branches made of it. I can also see the SNES variant qualifies for certain branches as an acceptable TAS to show off a run without as many glitches being possible, and the Gameboy Color variant for some of its challenges that earlier versions do not offer. The question of course is, is there value in this PAL variant that we have lacking from all our other variants and branches thereof?
The first thing I want to shoot down is the idea that SMB PAL is faster than SMB NTSC. There are quite a few parts of the game that are non-playable. These include score countdown, castle animations, pipe transitions, 1-2, 2-2, 4-2, and 7-2 initial cut screens, level banners, vine climbing, and Bowser drowning to our princess is in another castle. When comparing across versions we need to take all this into account and figure out actual game-play time. NES SMB processes the non-playable segments of the games in multiples of 21 frames and 18 frames for NTSC and PAL respectively. Nintendo altered the number from 21 to 18 because 21/60 and 18/50 is 0.35 and 0.36, which should provide a close gaming experience on the port. In actuality, using more precise numbers, NTSC has frames which are ~0.0166 seconds long, and PAL ~0.0199 seconds. This means the non-playable parts are processed in multiples of ~0.3494 seconds and ~0.3599 seconds. Since these non-playable segments run on boundaries that are multiples of these, it means that the NTSC version allows slightly more time to get in activity before the game will round upwards. Conversely, if you just went a bit over a multiple, the PAL version will proceed to the next multiple sooner.
In order to get a better handle on this, I went to time the actual playable segments between the fastest NTSC and this PAL run (note, there may be rounding errors, and it's possible I was a frame off either way for some calculations):
LevelNTSCPAL
1-112.230512.083
1-221.58321.15
4-123.98323.967
4-217.949517.567
8-140.082540.233
8-224.865523.383
8-322.698522.767
8-432.527532.601
Total195.92193.751
Based on this NTSC is slower by ~2.169 seconds (about 130 frames in NTSC). However, there is a flaw with this logic. These runs aim for overall fastest real time, and thereby performs some actions which are slightly slower in the playable segments in order to abuse how the non-playable part is played as well as avoid 3 or 6 castle fireworks animations. However, the NTSC run goes significantly out of its way in 8-2 to abuse this trade off, by ~2.379 seconds in my calculation. If the run would discount non-playable segments to achieve the fastest possible any-variant time, we'd instead be looking at:
LevelNTSCPAL
8-222.486523.383
Total193.541193.751
In this case, the NTSC version is faster by 0.21 seconds (about a dozen frames)!
NTSC improves further if we decide that the mid-level non-playable segments must be included in 1-1, because unlike other levels, going through that here is a decision that can be avoided. In that case the 1-1 times become:
LevelNTSCPAL
1-118.165518.433
Gaining the NTSC run an additional 0.415 seconds (about 25 frames). All in all, PAL being necessarily faster in terms of game-play is doubtful.

Judgment

Armed with all the aforementioned information, how do we look at this? I decided to ask other judges for their opinions for the different possibilities, raised a few counterpoints with them, then assessed how they changed their opinion. I will not list their names because I should be the sole person receiving any fallout for the judgment on this run. What follows is how I characterize the opinions they conveyed to me.
Before I mentioned (counter)points:
JudgeObsoleteNew VariantReject
AAbsurdYes!No
BAbsurdYesMaybe
CYesNo way!Maybe
DAbsurdYes!No
After:
JudgeObsoleteNew VariantReject
BAbsurdNo way!Yes!
CMaybeNo way!Yes
DAbsurdMaybeYes
EAbsurdNoYes!
(One judge was unique in each group)
When I initially saw this run, knowing the differences right off the bat between variants and our aims, it seemed clear to me that obsoletion was lunacy. However my knee-jerk reaction was that I love this run, the engine is a bit different, let's just accept this as another variant. However, those are not good reasons to accept something, we have rules.
Thinking about how this run actually differs from the NTSC when viewing, it's not by much. More than that, there's nothing that really necessitates a difference. Just because one run decided to randomly jump at some point does not make it different from a run which does not. It has to be different as a branch in a significant manner, not just how it was played back in a particular run or mere moments of it. The new glitch, while new, does not look so different going through the wall than going through the wall otherwise. Also, I'm not convinced every run of this PAL branch would require this glitch being abused. So looking at changes across the run, they seem minor, and 4/5 judges I spoke to are now in favor of rejecting.
After assessing everything yesterday for one last time, I was conflicted on what to do. After sleeping on it, seeing no new convincing posts one way or the other, and considering the different factors listed above further, one side in my mind now slightly outweighs the other. In conclusion, while some PAL games are acceptable, and other branches for SMB PAL may be acceptable, this TAS does not seem to be acceptable with what we know right now and how we handle these sorts of things. Rejecting.

Nach: Since some people had a hard time following the above points, I put together a decision tree.

Nach: The last judge (Judge A) has since wrote back to me that in light of additional data/(counter)points, they now also favor rejection.

Summary

Nach: When we accept improvements across game versions, we only do so when there are actual improvements in the game-play by the player(s). The quality of the existing published NTSC run and this submission are practically the same. This submission did not improve upon the existing NTSC publication in any meaningful way. All time-related improvements are due to subtle version differences that the player has no control over. Since there is no improvement upon the existing publication once the version differences are factored out, this submission is not considered an improvement.
The game-play in this submission is similar to existing publications, and there does not seem to be substantial differences to warrant this submission to be published alongside them. After speaking to five judges regarding the similarities, they are all in favor of rejection. Rejecting.

Samsara: Disregard that, let's test Playground!
Samsara: Disregard that test, let's test it properly this time without accidentally using senior level permissions! ._.

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At least I am aiming to look at this objectively without attacking you as a person- anything stated in regards to what you have done regarding judging is in relation to things that you have already posted and statements you have already made. I edited out many a comment where I was harsh on you as a person because that's not what is relevant- who you are as a person has nothing to do with the judgement you have made. Glad to know you are showing the same respect back. /s EDIT: I will reply properly in the morning, after I have slept and had time to formulate a proper response. Even though I know you will not change anything, this is the hill I will die on.
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Habreno wrote:
this is the hill I will die on.
Don't forget to take a shovel with you.
Warning: Opinions expressed by Nach or others in this post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or position of Nach himself on the matter(s) being discussed therein.
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c-square wrote:
This is interesting... I've never seen a ruling challenged before. Is there a process set up at TASVideos for contesting a judge's decision? If not, one ought to be set up, as I don't see arguing it out in the forums resulting in quick resolution.
If there is a significant majority that disagrees with the judgment, then the senior judge can review it and rejudge if needed. However, I'm not seeing enough grounds to revisit this judgment (based on current rules). Plenty of people do agree with or respect the judgment, and I'm not seeing a majority against it. A large majority of the judges also agrees. Regarding the judgment itself, Nach's judgment and decision tree tell enough about how it was judged, I agree with its conclusion, and I would not judge it any differently.
http://www.youtube.com/Noxxa <dwangoAC> This is a TAS (...). Not suitable for all audiences. May cause undesirable side-effects. May contain emulator abuse. Emulator may be abusive. This product contains glitches known to the state of California to cause egg defects. <Masterjun> I'm just a guy arranging bits in a sequence which could potentially amuse other people looking at these bits <adelikat> In Oregon Trail, I sacrificed my own family to save time. In Star trek, I killed helpless comrades in escape pods to save time. Here, I kill my allies to save time. I think I need help.
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Speedy TAS of 2015
Mothrayas wrote:
c-square wrote:
This is interesting... I've never seen a ruling challenged before. Is there a process set up at TASVideos for contesting a judge's decision? If not, one ought to be set up, as I don't see arguing it out in the forums resulting in quick resolution.
If there is a significant majority that disagrees with the judgment, then the senior judge can review it and rejudge if needed. However, I'm not seeing enough grounds to revisit this judgment (based on current rules). Plenty of people do agree with or respect the judgment, and I'm not seeing a majority against it. A large majority of the judges also agrees. Regarding the judgment itself, Nach's judgment and decision tree tell enough about how it was judged, I agree with its conclusion, and I would not judge it any differently.
Thanks for the reply, Mothrayas. That's good information to know, and may be useful info to add to one of the FAQs if it's not already there. To those still debating this judgement, it appears that the ruling will stand and there is little-to-no chance of it being revisited under the current rules. Of course, people should feel free to open discussion in an attempt to gain further understanding. However, if your goal is to have the ruling on this run overturned, your time and effort will have more impact in the general PAL vs. NTSC thread, working to get the rules changed so that this run can be revisited, rather than debating here constricted by the current rule set.
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In an attempt to inject some positivity into this thread, let's all take a moment to acknowledge what an outstanding run this is (as usual) by HappyLee. I don't think anyone in this thread has said that this run is sloppy or unentertaining on its own. It really is a fantastic piece by itself, even if it's not worthy of publication. I especially like this run for the way it forces us to examine our publication rules. I wrote in my Beetle Mania submission text, "I want this run to make people think about-- but not challenge-- the submission criteria. Make sense?" Ever since the creation of the Vault, I haven't had much reason to do any botting because runs with high optimization and terrible entertainment are easily sequestered there. HappyLee's run has opened up extensive discussion about what runs should and shouldn't be published and that is a feat in and of itself! Everyone loves the flashy runs of popular games and most of the time we all come to a pretty quick consensus about whether a movie is worthy of publication, but I have a sneaking admiration for submissions that push our judging criteria to their limits. Such movies are rare, they're good for the site, and they are destined for infamy, regardless of whether they're published. Maybe my runs contributed in small part to the creation of the Vault and maybe HappyLee's run will eventually grow the site in some other way. I also think Nach deserves some appreciation. As others have said, this was not an easy decision and Nach was left in an unenviable position. I hope that no one believes he made his decision without putting a lot of thought into it. True, many here think that the thought was misplaced, but no one should think that he just quickly looked over the run once or twice, said, "Screw it!" and rejected it. My own concern regarding the run is that it most differentiates itself from the NTSC run with the "fall into the floor" glitch. This glitch is used in 8-2 and only saves about 0.4 seconds by Nach's calculation, which isn't even where most of the improvement comes from. I won't say that the run didn't deserve publication because of that, but it definitely makes one wonder whether there's really enough new here to warrant side-by-side publication with a run that's nearly identical in content and timing. But I digress. Great job by both HappyLee and Nach! This has been very entertaining on all fronts!
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NES TAS of 2011
As I mentioned, I have 2 problems with this judgment: rules clarification and viewer support. One depends on the other though, and I can't fully make my point about how to treat the viewer support without pointing out how the rules should be tweaked in my opinion. With the latter, I might be sent to the other thread, but I can't fully prove the rules need to change there without going into details about this submission, which would be offtopic there. So as both opinions have been expressed here already, I'll combine my take on them in one post, because of how tied together they are. The main reason not to accept this TAS was that it is neither different enough from the NTSC run, nor superior to it to warrant an obsoletion. This is expressed in these rules:
    Judge Guidelines Sum-up
    • Quantity is not quality.
      • Keep the number of different branches per game minimal. A run for a proposed new branch for a game should offer compelling differences relative to previously published runs of that game
      .
    Movie Rules
      Console versions of PAL games run at a lower framerate than NTSC games, running at ~50Hz compared to NTSC's ~60Hz, and the games themselves are often not modified or poorly modified to accommodate to the change in timing. Due to this, PAL versions of ROMs are generally not allowed, unless there are significant technical and/or entertainment merits to using this version. See Rygar and Blaster Master for examples of good usage of the PAL ROM.
If you take this run in isolation and check it against the above rules in isolation (ignoring how well known the game is, what feedback the run got, what other guidelines say, etc), you'll be comparing the PAL run to the existing SMB branches in order to see, whether the PAL run is as different from the existing branches for that game as they are different from each other. If it is that different, we have the desired diversity and it's safe to publish it. But there are other judge guidelines too.
    Sum-up
    • Satisfy the audience's expectations.
    Be thorough
      Uncover, evaluate and address as many aspects of a given run as possible. This allows for decisions that could serve as a long-term reference or set important precedents in complicated situations. If you miss some of the aspects that might have influenced the final decision, your decision will be imperfect.
    Consider the audience's feedback
      Viewers that are experienced in the game you're judging can expand your outlook even further by providing good food for thought. Always analyze their opinions and talk to them in order to get valuable information from them.
This decision completely disregards the opinion of the vast majority that the run should be accepted based on its merits. It could happen if one bases their take on some guidelines, but skips the others. But maybe the viewers' take can be ignored here with no harm? Also, why does the viewers' take directly contradict that of most of the judges? This is a clear collision: between the judges and the audience, between the existing rules and the desired rules, between the letter and the spirit of the law. Why does it happen? Do we want to avoid such situations? Should we go out of our way and try to guarantee against such scenarios, at least in cases like this one? I'm very certain we need to move towards matching the audience's take on the whole thing. If we can't change the rules and the minds of the judges, we need to convince the audience that they weren't quite right. If we can't convince the audience, we are either wrong ourselves, or haven't came up with compelling arguments. Or we also can try to tweak everything: the rules, the judges' opinions, the audience's opinions, making one huge compromise. I know it works, we've done that before with little to no complaints on the result. But let's try to answer the first question first: why did it happen at all? First of all, if you watch the two movies (NTSC and PAL) side by side and compare their difference to how the other SMB branches differ from each other, you will clearly see, that there's not enough difference, and/or the existing difference is not compelling: one new glitch that saves a few frames, all the rest is identical gameplay-wise. The PAL version doesn't present new features that add unique merit to the gameplay: no new levels, no new items, no new warps, no new enemies, no nothing. The only thing that's significantly different is the physics change that allows for that new glitch. But the important part is, even that new glitch is mostly TAS only (until the RTA geeks reproduce it). When you try to play each version as a normal human, you will see that Nintendo invested quite some effort to make the gameplay identical. They polished out some edge cases that you might never even run into, they tweaked some other things like the speed of the music or non-playable parts, but generally it's still the same exact gaming experience. That is my word of a judge here. But why does the audience not notice this similarity? When they watch it and ask themselves whether they have seen the "compelling differences" here, and whether there are "significant technical and/or entertainment merits" to the PAL run, they say YES! This is fully subjective and is based on how well known and exhaustively examined the game is. Pay attention to that statement. When people watched the Super Metroid "in-game time" TAS, they 1) enjoyed it, 2) saw the similarities to any%, 3) disregarded the similarities in favor of all the differences they noticed. The presence of vast similarities is proven by the fact that that same audience several times agreed to obsolete the in-game run with any%. Yet every time that run popped up in the submission queue, they were loving it, and the judge was listening to them. Now compare the complexity of Super Metroid and Super Mario Bros. I'd say the difference is completely insane. And out of what the Super Metroid game has to offer, people were still seeing the enjoyable compelling differences between these known-to-be-similar runs. And they were heard. Note that while Super Metroid might be "the best game of all times", it's far from "the most well-known and examined game of all times". Look at SMB. Every retrogamer knows it, and most of them know it quite well, at least on the normal play level. Look at how long that TAS remained unimproved due to the lack of substantially new tricks. Since 2009 it still hasn't been improved by more than a single frame, regardless of all the info we have about it, and that improvement was still just an optimization in a single place. Sure, the framerules don't work on our side, but the whole picture is that: the NTSC run does not look improvable at all to anyone. Then a run appears that succeeds to deliver new content, and guess what? It's also faster by real time. Guys, I tell you, if it was slower, no one would have really cared. There wouldn't be any obsoletion advocates. There wouldn't be too many moons-branch advocates. It is slower, the record withstands, no reason to lose your mind. If it was slower, people would have looked at the movie rules that say PAL games are generally slower and see it proven once again. The fact that the PAL run is shorter even though the character speed has been configured to match is what makes people tremble with ecstasy. I felt that too BTW, despite of what I see here as a judge. "This game can still deliver new content!!!111" Yes, this impression is 100% subjective, and it is based solely on how well people know the game. But it is not the same thing as when SM64 kids enter TASVideos forum just to say how much we suck if we don't blindly give infinite rights to their celestial favorite. It's not some flash mob sent to infect us with their hype. It is the actual opinion of our audience, with some really good points, with some super detailed research, with all the relevance and meaningfulness that we expect to see. The only flaw they have is lack of reading comprehension when it comes to seeing the verdict. But the thing is, the verdict should have considered all these factors to begin with.
The rules about ROM regions should fully fit those about goals and branches If some regional version of the ROM is superior, if it has better media, gameplay, difficulty, challenge, glitches, routes, it might be judged to obsolete. If we have several branches, some of them might be done on other regional versions, if such versions highlight some unique aspect of the goal or the game, not seen in other branches. If some regional version provides some significant enjoyment for the audience, it should be judged on the case-by-case basis, still only applying the Moons rules. If some PAL version is accepted on that basis, it shouldn't mean other PAL runs also should be accepted simply based on the precedent. Every PAL run should be judged uniquely. If we tweak the rules that way, and the audience changes their opinion and prefers the rejection based on the new rules, my goal about analyzing the shit out of this has been reached.
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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I want to make some more points regarding "fastest version whatever it is" that are similiar to one I made previously since nobody seems to think the FDS ending is valid. SMB isn't a dead game. Nintendo is still rereleasing this game on every new console they bring out and they keep releasing almost identical games like "Super Luigi Bros." or "Speed Mario Bros.". The latter only differs by framerate and text on the titlescreen and it beats both NTSC NES and PAL NES. Ok, you can say that doesn't count, because the name of the game is different, but what if the next VC release runs at 61fps because of a typo or because the real framerate of 60.098... gets rounded up? Then NTSC is faster again and Happylee's old NTSC video just has to be sped up 1.5% for the new publication that obsoletes PAL NES. Fundamentally I think beating a TAS or speedrun by using a different version is like using a different definition of "circle" to proof that you can indeed square it.
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feos, your feelings about this run closely match my own. My personal feeling is that it should also be published as another branch because: A) It's a great run of a slightly different official game, it looks great, I want it! B) Having a new variant offers up some new competition for our players to fight over that we're not getting with the existing branches. I think many others in this thread feel that way too. However, I could not reconcile my personal feelings with the rules. When I spoke with judges B and D, they seemed to personally prefer acceptance as another branch, but they could not reconcile that with the rules either. Based on your lengthy remarks, I think you yourself deep down have a hard time reconciling the two as well. On a side note, adelikat brought up an argument asking how would we view a hack which changed some the parameters to the game engine similar to how PAL does to NTSC here, and creates some new game-play opportunities. Would we consider that for publication as a new branch/variant that our players could compete to get the best score? If we accepted PAL should we accept that too? Once you start questioning things from the hack angle, my point B above is kind of demolished. When we have only A to consider, I think we're all a bit biased here as BrunoVisnadi mentioned. If this was regarding Super Adventure Island or Lemmings, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation at all.
Warning: Opinions expressed by Nach or others in this post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or position of Nach himself on the matter(s) being discussed therein.
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NES TAS of 2011
Nach wrote:
If this was regarding Super Adventure Island or Lemmings, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation at all.
That's the point. The game is so popular and simple that people notice the little differences that are there easier. And before they started changing their minds reading the judgment, they all believed this thing should be published. My proposal has this goal. If we notice that everybody just wants something, and we mostly would like to have it, but the rules don't quite allow, we need to come up with the rules that give this thing a chance, if it also successfully meets some newly added requirement, that makes sense to most of us. My requirement is to leave some part of the decision to the audience like we do with Moons. The problem with the rules is also that it doesn't quite tell what kind of difference is enough. But look at this:
    unless there are significant technical and/or entertainment merits
It's clear to everybody that this run has enough entertainment merits. See how the rule doesn't require both. And again, the technical aspect of that game that allows this one glitch there is the main part that makes it so entertaining to everyone. It is very minor. Yet it in reality turns out as an incredibly powerful and exceptional thing, I explained why. Not only because the game is fully known and suddenly the run is different. But mostly because it is still shorter in real time. That's the part that generates all the madness here, and it is as clear as the entertainment value of this run. If you want me to dig into the actual differences that might be put as the main factor of uniqueness, I could try if you tell me what kinds of things we are looking for. Just note that I haven't really tried yet, since it wasn't my question to myself. I asked myself what is happening here and why, and was surprised by the amount of thoughts I produced. I'll ponder your point B argument later.
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Nach wrote:
On a side note, adelikat brought up an argument asking how would we view a hack which changed some the parameters to the game engine similar to how PAL does to NTSC here, and creates some new game-play opportunities. Would we consider that for publication as a new branch/variant that our players could compete to get the best score? If we accepted PAL should we accept that too? Once you start questioning things from the hack angle, my point B above is kind of demolished.
I think it's completely justified to judge the validity of official versions of a game with rather different (ie. less strict) standards than unofficial third-party hacks. (The latter would require, at the very least, significant notoriety and popularity.)
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Warp, I totally agree. It's more about how do we view these engine changes in the bigger picture.
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Nach, I have a question for you. I think it fits better in this topic, as it is based on the SMB judgment. The question is what you think of the following. It's based on three quotes, two of which are yours. One important assumption is that the PAL SMB submission is, in every relevant way, faster than the NTSC published movie. 1) In this topic, you say that "If this was regarding Super Adventure Island or Lemmings, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation at all." 2) In your decision tree - which is very clear, so thanks for that - the relevant part is that "having a non-original replace a perfectly valid original seemed lunacy to me". 3) The judge guidelines - Managing game versions/ports on multiple platforms - states that one version is preferred, based on originality (or, age of publication), popularity, or superiority. I think it is clear that the preferred version for SMB is now based on the popularity of the American version, which is perfectly valid. That is why Lemmings is not relevant, because popularity would not be considered a good basis for choice of version. Since there are few games as popular as SMB, there are few games that are potentially relevant, and even less games that have a version difference. One that may come close is The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. In its publication history on this site, the version used has changed from JP 1.1 to USA 1.0 to JP 1.0. Surely this is because of the glitch-potential (so superiority) instead of originality or popularity, even if it is a popular game. So there exists a precedent to choose something else than popularity, even for a popular game, as the basis for the version to publish. Therefore I think that the judge guidelines, as the OoT example shows, provide opportunity to at least soften the "lunacy" of obsoleting a "perfectly valid original". Furthermore, as MrWint explained, PAL SMB is not just a port, but also a sort of 1.1 patch applied at the same time as it was patched for 50Hz screens. The reason given to prefer originality is authenticity. I do not think it needs explaining that a later revision by the creator is no less authentic than the so called original: after all, the original only happens to be (coincidentally, as it were) published first. In question form: what is more authentic, a modern game with or without its day one patch? Therefore I think the preference of originality (which American SMB has over PAL SMB) is problematic, as the whole idea of preferring the first-published is an arbitrary preference. I think the guidelines do not dictate a rejection of PAL SMB, nor do they require an obsoletion of NTSC SMB, as they say: "we generally preferred one version of a game." To adhere to this preference for one version only, and have this version be based on its popularity is therefore a valid judgment, but not necessarily the only valid judgment.
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Chanoyu wrote:
One important assumption is that the PAL SMB submission is, in every relevant way, faster than the NTSC published movie.
I don't agree with this assumption in the slightest.
Chanoyu wrote:
I think it is clear that the preferred version for SMB is now based on the popularity of the American version, which is perfectly valid.
Also originality. SMB Japan/USA version was the original version.
Chanoyu wrote:
One that may come close is The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time. In its publication history on this site, the version used has changed from JP 1.1 to USA 1.0 to JP 1.0. Surely this is because of the glitch-potential (so superiority) instead of originality or popularity, even if it is a popular game.
I don't know enough about that game to say for sure, but from my understanding, there are no major differences between those two to the playable portions of the game aside from bug fixes.
Chanoyu wrote:
Therefore I think that the judge guidelines, as the OoT example shows, provide opportunity to at least soften the "lunacy" of obsoleting a "perfectly valid original".
I think you're attempting to compare apples and limousines.
Chanoyu wrote:
Furthermore, as MrWint explained, PAL SMB is not just a port, but also a sort of 1.1 patch applied at the same time as it was patched for 50Hz screens. The reason given to prefer originality is authenticity. I do not think it needs explaining that a later revision by the creator is no less authentic than the so called original: after all, the original only happens to be (coincidentally, as it were) published first.
Not quite. The game was carefully crafted around the original variables. It's unclear who did the bug fixes, that could have been done by the original development team even before Nintendo Europe got their hands on it. However it was Nintendo Europe who ported it to PAL. They are a subdivision of the parent company, but they still created a derivative work. SMB PAL's changes to momentum makes some of the tricky World 8 huge jumps easier. I don't think that was something intended by the original developers, and may have even been an oversight by the porting team. These changes to the actual game play make it non-original. It's just as non-original as the ports to SNES and CGB, even though the same company did those ports (and possibly even some of the same developers).
Chanoyu wrote:
In question form: what is more authentic, a modern game with or without its day one patch? Therefore I think the preference of originality (which American SMB has over PAL SMB) is problematic, as the whole idea of preferring the first-published is an arbitrary preference.
If it was only bug fix patches you'd be onto something. But a lot more was changed than just that. Changes to the engine variables have a ripple effect across the entire game. The challenges are no longer exactly the same as they were before.
Warning: Opinions expressed by Nach or others in this post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or position of Nach himself on the matter(s) being discussed therein.
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Regarding OoT: The only version differences that count in that game are 1.0 vs. 1.1 vs. 1.2. Everything else is text or - in case of PAL - framerate. U and JP can be any of the three versions, while PAL can only be 1.2.
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If you have been inappropriately labeled, or missed at all, let me know (with a post link) and I'll edit this post. I'll make my thoughts on these numbers later. Award - NES TAS of 2011
My vote is for reject. I thought it belonged in Gruefood delight.
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I honestly think the best place for this PAL run is in Gruefood Delight. It's well put together but the improvement is very narrow and the framerate makes it look worse than the NTSC. People's first impressions are going to be *this* Mario run. I don't really want to start a PAL obsoleting run vs NTSC for many other runs on the site. This would allow the PAL work to stay up on the site while at the same time establishing a clear protocol that could be used in the future for all the other runs.
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HappyLee x MrWint comparison. Downloadable SD: https://yadi.sk/d/3FGYvzvd3MZdMY Link to video
Warning: When making decisions, I try to collect as much data as possible before actually deciding. I try to abstract away and see the principles behind real world events and people's opinions. I try to generalize them and turn into something clear and reusable. I hate depending on unpredictable and having to make lottery guesses. Any problem can be solved by systems thinking and acting. If TASing is meta-play, TASVideos Movie Rules are meta-meta-play!
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feos wrote:
HappyLee x MrWint comparison.
Thanks for posting that. It's really interesting seeing how they go about doing the same things in sometimes very different ways. It's also neat to see how HappyLee's falls behind, but that it makes no difference in the end.
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Thank you, Feos, that will be very interesting to watch.
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It seems to me that in a few levels there were sections done faster by HappyLee and sections done faster by MrWint. Combining them, could a frame rule be beaten?
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BrunoVisnadi wrote:
It seems to me that in a few levels there were sections done faster by HappyLee and sections done faster by MrWint. Combining them, could a frame rule be beaten?
Of course not. I don't believe it's possible. Every slow-down in my run was intended, mainly for entertainment.
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It's probably no surprise that this is not the verdict I expected. If I didn't see merits in the publication, I wouldn't have spent multiple months investigating the game and creating a TAS for it. I have read the judgement, and considering the information presented and the line of reasoning, the verdict is reasonable. However, I'm afraid the information the ruling is based upon is wrong, and it may have had an adverse impact on the verdict. The times presented to "debunk" that PAL is faster than NTSC are all wonky. Here are some accurate numbers, extracted from the current NTSC TAS and my PAL TAS, with frame numbers for reference. They are based on the 15 distinct sequences when the player has control over Mario ($000E = 8):
Area      |                NTSC          |                PAL           |   diff
          | start    end #frames    time | start    end #frames    time |
----------+------------------------------+------------------------------+-------
1-1       |   196    564     368   6.123 |   172    475     303   6.059 | -0.064
1-1-sub   |   655    766     111   1.847 |   553    642      89   1.780 | -0.067
1-1-end   |  1048   1288     240   3.993 |   897   1093     196   3.919 | -0.074
1-2       |  2486   3766    1280  21.298 |  2060   3105    1045  20.897 | -0.401
4-1       |  3981   5424    1443  24.010 |  3291   4490    1199  23.977 | -0.034
4-2       |  6584   7172     588   9.784 |  5429   5905     476   9.519 | -0.265
4-2-end   |  7247   7723     476   7.920 |  5972   6363     391   7.819 | -0.101
8-1       |  7933  10344    2411  40.117 |  6553   8557    2004  40.074 | -0.043
8-2       | 10979  12475    1496  24.892 |  9038  10199    1161  23.217 | -1.676
8-3       | 13122  14489    1367  22.746 | 10821  11961    1140  22.797 |  0.051
8-4       | 15223  15747     524   8.719 | 12478  12913     435   8.699 | -0.020
8-4-cont1 | 15917  16184     267   4.443 | 13075  13293     218   4.359 | -0.083
8-4-cont2 | 16354  16549     195   3.245 | 13455  13610     155   3.100 | -0.145
8-4-water | 16719  17415     696  11.581 | 13722  14365     643  12.858 |  1.277
8-4-cont3 | 17589  17867     278   4.626 | 14530  14759     229   4.579 | -0.046
----------+------------------------------+------------------------------+-------
Sum       |                11740 195.345 |                 9684 193.653 | -1.692
As noted in the judgement, the large difference in 8-2 is because NTSC wastes time in the playable part to gain time in the non-playable part. What is not mentioned though is that the same applies for the PAL version as well in 8-2 (to avoid fireworks). So the updated table looks like this:
8-2       | 10979  12363    1384  23.029 |  9038  10189    1151  23.017 | -0.012
----------+------------------------------+------------------------------+-------
Sum       |                11628 193.481 |                 9674 193.453 | -0.028
There are more things that are not recognized that would favor PAL. The suspicious time gain of NTSC in 8-3 is caused by the fact that doing the flag pole glitch costs (playable) time, and NTSC doesn't do one in 8-3, so these would be another couple frames gained by PAL in this calculation. My main point though is that the PAL version is faster than the NTSC version, not only on technicalities, even when only considering the actual gameplay. The individual level times show that PAL is consistently a tiny bit faster. And the only reason it is even that close overall is because of the water section in 8-4, PAL is significantly slower while walking or swimming (they used a factor of 7/6 instead of 6/5). The ruling misrepresents the facts by how they display the data. This doesn't invalidate the reasoning in the ruling, according to the helpful decision tree the same path still applies. So why is this relevant at all then? The reason it is relevant, the reason it was probably included in the ruling to begin with, is that it makes the decision much less defensible. When you can show that PAL is only faster based on a technicality, it is easier to discount it as a port that doesn't reach the glory of the true original. It demonstably convinced other judges into changing their opinion. However, if that isn't actually true, you're not left with much to justify the decision. I can understand why people are upset about this decision. The way it looks like to me is that you have a submission on a different version of the game than the currently published one. It is faster than the currently published run no matter how you slice it, and also well-liked. It has been rejected because it is apparently too different to allow obsoletion, but simultaneously too similar to warrant its own category (source: decision tree). This is a middle ground I don't think should exist, at least not for a high-profile game like SMB. And the decision relies heavily on the "original" vs. "non-original" distinction, which I don't understand at all. Whether or not something was on the market first has no relevance by itself. Actual possibly valid reasons are usually only results of this fact, like when the original was significantly more popular than later versions, or when later versions were poorly made compared to the original. It'd be great to get some elaboration on this point. The way it stands now it sounds like a handwavy way to justify a biased opinion about PAL games being intrinsically inferior due to being "not the original". The way Nach describes it as "Having a non-original game replace a perfectly valid original seemed lunacy to me, [...]" suggests that not much thought went into why that would be the case. Being the original doesn't make it better by itself.
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Agreed with MrWint. This is a speedrun. The version that saves the most time should be published. Come on, are we really going through what happened in 2012 with my OoT TAS? Where a lot of the site refused to accept it because it was on the Japanese ROM, despite it saving 12 minutes in text alone. This is seriously just "PAL isn't the 'original'" (dumb argument, a lot of us live in PAL territory and the PAL version would be the one we played first anyway). The judgement should be overturned IMO and the rules should be edited to say that whichever version gives the fastest time should be preferred. A lot of people on this site love to go on and on about how things are subjective because it justifies them arguing about the most inane rubbish for 10+ pages. Let's just make the rules clearer, so it becomes objective. The fastest version of a game should be what's used.
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