Post subject: Ask a Judge
Noxxa
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It's come to my attention that it happens relatively often that someone needs to ask whether something they're working on can be accepted, how the rules apply to a certain run or game, etc., without there really being a good way to ask these questions outside of direct chat. So, I am now making a central topic for that purpose, so questions can be asked and answers recorded here. Note that questions must be on topic in relation to judge roles - off-topic posts may be moved or deleted. Please remember to read the movie rules or tier rules, particularly Vault rules, to see if your question already may have a clear answer.
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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Oh good now i can question this openly, I saw some SMW:Hacks here already "The legend continues" or "Kaizo" so my question was if the "Vip&Wall Series" would also be a good choice. it has definitely unique mechanics and quirks.
2-do: Smurfs Nightmare, The (EU) GBC 10% fin : Mega Man: Dr. Wily's Revenge improvement: submitted Mega Man II Improvement: submitted Mega Man IV Improvement: submitted Mega Man V Improvement: submitted future plan: -n-
Noxxa
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Tremane wrote:
Oh good now i can question this openly, I saw some SMW:Hacks here already "The legend continues" or "Kaizo" so my question was if the "Vip&Wall Series" would also be a good choice. it has definitely unique mechanics and quirks.
The general rule for TASes of hacks is that the hack must be high quality and notable with a good following. Alongside that, they must provide unique and different content compared to the original game and to other (published) hacks, while also being considered as entertaining on their own merits (fulfilling Moons requirements). Therefore, as audience feedback is an important aspect, no guarantee can be given towards any hack's publishability. If the audience does not consider a TAS of a hack entertaining, it cannot be published. On the specific subject (VIP Mario series), the hack series appears to be popular/notable enough, and looks like it provides unique enough gameplay when compared to currently published hacks. Therefore, I think it could be eligible for publication, as long as audience response is favorable enough and agrees it is unique enough. Note that publication would most likely only be restricted to a single run from the hack series, as the different hack installments would overlap with each other in terms of content style. In the case multiple movies of the series are available as submissions or publications, the movie that shows off the hack series and its content the best would be favored over other movies which would be rejected, or obsoleted if already published.
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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Tremane wrote:
I saw some SMW:Hacks here already "The legend continues" or "Kaizo"
NOT A JUDGE, BUT: Notice that the hack's popularity is not a determinant factor. Kaizo Mario World is by far the most famous hack and the any% was canceled here some years ago, while the 100% wasn't even submitted. KMW3 was accepted here with good reception, because the hacks is not ugly as hell like its precursors and the TAS itself is full of WTF moments. J.U.M.P. is a very good hack that wasn't accepted, so look at those runs to see if the VIP run will be similar and likely to be rejected.
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Cool! This is a much needed topic, thanks for making it. I have a question regarding this rule:
Play games that are emulated well. Emulation of several platforms such as Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation is still far from perfect, and some games work worse than others. This may be grey area on such systems, but we generally aim to publish videos that look like they could be played back on the original video game system. Movies of games that are not emulated well (have graphical or functional glitches that do not exist on the real console) should not be submitted.
My question is, what can be done about runs that accepted and published, yet break this rule by being emulated quite poorly, if they cannot be improved in gameplay? I have in mind several A2600 runs: [2228] A2600 Bobby is Going Home by Lollorcaust in 01:16.13 [2585] A2600 Dodge 'Em by yep2yel & morningpee in 00:52.93 [2226] A2600 Superman "pause glitch" by jlun2 in 00:11.42 There is very likely no way to improve gameplay in these (certainly not Superman or Bobbie is going home, Dodge'em might have a chance.) Yet, it seems there should be a means to replace them with runs that are accurate given how obviously poor the emulation is just by watching the encodes, even if they are the same length (or possibly longer.) So, assuming that no further improvements are possible: Is it acceptable to submit a new run that is identical in gameplay to an existing run where the only improvement is accurate emulation?
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Alyosha wrote:
Cool! This is a much needed topic, thanks for making it. I have a question regarding this rule:
Play games that are emulated well. Emulation of several platforms such as Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation is still far from perfect, and some games work worse than others. This may be grey area on such systems, but we generally aim to publish videos that look like they could be played back on the original video game system. Movies of games that are not emulated well (have graphical or functional glitches that do not exist on the real console) should not be submitted.
My question is, what can be done about runs that accepted and published, yet break this rule by being emulated quite poorly, if they cannot be improved in gameplay? I have in mind several A2600 runs: [2228] A2600 Bobby is Going Home by Lollorcaust in 01:16.13 [2585] A2600 Dodge 'Em by yep2yel & morningpee in 00:52.93 [2226] A2600 Superman "pause glitch" by jlun2 in 00:11.42 There is very likely no way to improve gameplay in these (certainly not Superman or Bobbie is going home, Dodge'em might have a chance.) Yet, it seems there should be a means to replace them with runs that are accurate given how obviously poor the emulation is just by watching the encodes, even if they are the same length (or possibly longer.) So, assuming that no further improvements are possible: Is it acceptable to submit a new run that is identical in gameplay to an existing run where the only improvement is accurate emulation?
Any submission that aims to improve upon and obsolete an existing publication record must come with an actual improvement of the run. It makes no sense to obsolete a movie when its time record is not beaten, only tied. So no, a submission that does not prove itself to be an actual improvement to a published equivalent run will not be accepted, even if it is done on a better emulator. Instead, the best course of action would be to update a movie file with the improved emulation resync directly (maintaining the integrity of the record). Unfortunately, we don't currently have a framework for doing this, or for dealing with side effects (such as keeping track of side effects, like encodes needing to be updated) - but we hopefully can work to make that possible in the future. For now, the best course of action is probably just to post updated movie files in the threads for the respective publications, then hopefully it will be possible to update the movie publications with those later.
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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Mothrayas wrote:
Any submission that aims to improve upon and obsolete an existing publication record must come with an actual improvement of the run. It makes no sense to obsolete a movie when its time record is not beaten, only tied.
That seems contradictory to the Vault rules, which state:
Vault Rules wrote:
Opportunities to entertain the audience where it does not affect time is not a requirement. However, it is encouraged and can be used as a tie-breaker for two equally fast movies.
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Warp wrote:
Mothrayas wrote:
Any submission that aims to improve upon and obsolete an existing publication record must come with an actual improvement of the run. It makes no sense to obsolete a movie when its time record is not beaten, only tied.
That seems contradictory to the Vault rules, which state:
Vault Rules wrote:
Opportunities to entertain the audience where it does not affect time is not a requirement. However, it is encouraged and can be used as a tie-breaker for two equally fast movies.
That rule states it is a tie-breaker, i.e. it can be a deciding factor given two equal options, such as having two submissions and having to choose which one to publish. But for a new submission to obsolete a published movie, it has to be a straight up improvement, per the movie rules on obsoleting a published movie.
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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Question mainly about PSX and N64 emulation. Let's suppose that there is a game which has serious emulation issues with the currently accepted emulator, but is emulated well on a previously accepted emulator (PSXjin or Mupen64-rr for example). Does it mean that : 1) the game is currently unTASable or 2) a derogation can be made by a judge to allow a TAS of this game on the previously accepted emulator
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lapogne36 wrote:
Question mainly about PSX and N64 emulation. Let's suppose that there is a game which has serious emulation issues with the currently accepted emulator, but is emulated well on a previously accepted emulator (PSXjin or Mupen64-rr for example). Does it mean that : 1) the game is currently unTASable or 2) a derogation can be made by a judge to allow a TAS of this game on the previously accepted emulator
For very specific circumstances, an exception can be made. For example, I've given an exception to Hyperresonance to submit Banjo-Kazooie done in Mupen64-rr, because BizHawk's Mupen64plus core actually misses out on a physics trick available on N64. However, before such an exception case can be submitted, it's also required to get a publisher willing to publish the movie if it gets accepted. These sorts of exceptions will be very rare, though.
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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Brilliant thread. I'm TASing NES Super Bat Puncher at the moment (in as much spare time as I get for TASing currently, anyhow), and am unsure about how to go about a few things. I've asked some questions in this post and would like a judge's opinion on it.
1.Is this game publishable? Super Bat Puncher is a homebrew game on the NES. A demo containing two levels has been released all the way back in 2011, but since then, very little has been heard from the game. The developers have since moved to other projects, which leads me to believe that the game is cancelled. As of now, the Demo is all that exists of Super Bat Puncher, and I do not want to wait any longer. The game definitely is TAS-worthy material, and I think it'd be a big shame if it couldn't be on the site because of the promise of a full version that may never happen. EDIT: I've recieved word from the game's dev, who has confirmed the game is pretty much dead at this point. 2.When should I end the game? After you defeat the second boss, the credits trigger. After the end, gameplay resumes and you can go to an area in the game to compelete a difficult bonus stage to get an extra item (see RaijinXBlade's old TAS). Most speedrunners I've seen (all three of them) exclude the bonus stage. Including the extra stage might add extra entertainment to the run, at the cost of having to sit through an unskippable credits sequence for a minute.
Yeah.
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scrimpeh wrote:
Brilliant thread. I'm TASing NES Super Bat Puncher at the moment (in as much spare time as I get for TASing currently, anyhow), and am unsure about how to go about a few things. I've asked some questions in this post and would like a judge's opinion on it.
1.Is this game publishable? Super Bat Puncher is a homebrew game on the NES. A demo containing two levels has been released all the way back in 2011, but since then, very little has been heard from the game. The developers have since moved to other projects, which leads me to believe that the game is cancelled. As of now, the Demo is all that exists of Super Bat Puncher, and I do not want to wait any longer. The game definitely is TAS-worthy material, and I think it'd be a big shame if it couldn't be on the site because of the promise of a full version that may never happen. EDIT: I've recieved word from the game's dev, who has confirmed the game is pretty much dead at this point. 2.When should I end the game? After you defeat the second boss, the credits trigger. After the end, gameplay resumes and you can go to an area in the game to compelete a difficult bonus stage to get an extra item (see RaijinXBlade's old TAS). Most speedrunners I've seen (all three of them) exclude the bonus stage. Including the extra stage might add extra entertainment to the run, at the cost of having to sit through an unskippable credits sequence for a minute.
Yeah.
1. If the developer affirmed it's cancelled but does still provide an open release for it, then it can effectively be considered a finished game. So, as long as it follows homebrew requirements for the Vault (some degree of notability, which at a cursory glance it looks like it has) or for Moons, it can be published. 2. It sounds like the bonus stage is not needed for an any% movie, but would be required for a 100% completion movie. This is again at a cursory glance, I haven't looked into what would be required for a 100% sort of run (I think this answer should be sufficient for the questions asked anyhow).
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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Tremane wrote:
Oh good now i can question this openly, I saw some SMW:Hacks here already "The legend continues" or "Kaizo" so my question was if the "Vip&Wall Series" would also be a good choice. it has definitely unique mechanics and quirks.
I'm also not a judge, but I can anticipate you that a VIP run in the same category Mister was doing will pretty much definitely be accepted. Is very entertaining, the hack is very good and very different of the SMW stuff we have so far. However, be aware that the run will be required to be optimal, and it's a fact that SMW's standard of optimization is higher than usual. If you want to get a SMW run published, I recommend taking a long time to learn the game's mechanics before by TASing other hacks, and then starting your VIP run.
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVoUfT49xN9TU-gDMHv57sw Projects: SMW 96 exit. SDW any%, with Amaraticando. SMA2 SMW small only Kaizo Mario World 3
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Mothrayas wrote:
1. If the developer affirmed it's cancelled but does still provide an open release for it, then it can effectively be considered a finished game.
- Affirmation of the developer: I think it's a bit hard (finding the developer, contacting him, getting an answer). Of course it's a really good idea to add as many informations as possible about the homebrew game (you TASed) to "judge" it's development status. - Cancelled: you rarely see this when we are talking about a really good quality game. I believe there should be some "aging" rule or something more clear. You know, projects sometimes disbanded, other thing happened, etc. edit: in this specific case, I think you have great chances at contacting the developer: Official account https://twitter.com/morphcat Personal, active in last few days account https://twitter.com/miau6502
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MESHUGGAH wrote:
Mothrayas wrote:
1. If the developer affirmed it's cancelled but does still provide an open release for it, then it can effectively be considered a finished game.
- Affirmation of the developer: I think it's a bit hard (finding the developer, contacting him, getting an answer). Of course it's a really good idea to add as many informations as possible about the homebrew game (you TASed) to "judge" it's development status. - Cancelled: you rarely see this when we are talking about a really good quality game. I believe there should be some "aging" rule or something more clear. You know, projects sometimes disbanded, other thing happened, etc. edit: in this specific case, I think you have great chances at contacting the developer: Official account https://twitter.com/morphcat Personal, active in last few days account https://twitter.com/miau6502
The developer was already contacted, see scrimpeh's post. And I'm not sure what you're thinking of with an "aging" rule, but it sounds a lot less clear than the direct developer's statement that a homebrew game is no longer being developed.
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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I wasn't checking the links, just answered to your quote I quoted as working example. I'm talking about the difficulty of finding the developer especially for very old homebrews and also getting the "right" information ("cancelled"). It's obviously not a problem if we are talking about newly developed homebrews or those made during a contest, whatever. The problem is mostly about pre 2000 homebrews.
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If no update has been made in many years and there is no indication that the developer is still working on it as far as you can find, then it can reasonably be considered finished. Contacting the developer, if at all possible, is a good step but is not necessary for most cases.
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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When a new movie is submitted that has a routing to do. Do you expect the author to have done extensive routing testing like tested every possible routes before taking the one they did? Or they can do some routing and take a route that "makes sense and that it looks fast"? In a summary, I would like to know what's the minimum of work behind a routing that is acceptable.
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Niamek wrote:
When a new movie is submitted that has a routing to do. Do you expect the author to have done extensive routing testing like tested every possible routes before taking the one they did? Or they can do some routing and take a route that "makes sense and that it looks fast"? In a summary, I would like to know what's the minimum of work behind a routing that is acceptable.
Let me start by saying I'm not a judge. Still, the minimum necessary work would probably be dependent on the game choice itself. Some games with multiple route options have a very limited number of route choices (NES Super Mario Bros.). Others may have hundreds of possibilities (NES Key Quest). To fully test every possibility for a given game may require an unreasonable degree of work to produce a valid TAS. Thus my personal approach is to test the handful of routes that seem as though they would be fastest and chose the best from those. A good resource to help determining the best route can be via finding a real-time speedrun (though these aren't always the fastest routes). As long as there aren't obvious routing improvements when compared to your resulting TAS, a judge will likely not reject it for routing reasons. It's not uncommon for already published runs to obsoleted by better routing.
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DrD2k9 wrote:
Niamek wrote:
When a new movie is submitted that has a routing to do. Do you expect the author to have done extensive routing testing like tested every possible routes before taking the one they did? Or they can do some routing and take a route that "makes sense and that it looks fast"? In a summary, I would like to know what's the minimum of work behind a routing that is acceptable.
Let me start by saying I'm not a judge. Still, the minimum necessary work would probably be dependent on the game choice itself. Some games with multiple route options have a very limited number of route choices (NES Super Mario Bros.). Others may have hundreds of possibilities (NES Key Quest). To fully test every possibility for a given game may require an unreasonable degree of work to produce a valid TAS. Thus my personal approach is to test the handful of routes that seem as though they would be fastest and chose the best from those. A good resource to help determining the best route can be via finding a real-time speedrun (though these aren't always the fastest routes). As long as there aren't obvious routing improvements when compared to your resulting TAS, a judge will likely not reject it for routing reasons. It's not uncommon for already published runs to obsoleted by better routing.
This is exactly correct.
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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A different question this time, concerning tiers. Can a TAS that has a lot of annoying noise due to some exploits be placed in a lower tier just because of the noise? Could this be a factor to the tier decision? Would it be better to disable the sound effect altogether or to just reduce? Or no messing with the options? Not the best example, but let's say Ocarina of time's Heart beeping can be annoying in the long run. In this case, it's not a big deal, but let's say if it's worse than that and you'd hear that almost all the time.
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Annoying noise or repetitive sound effects or such can have an effect on a voting/rating audience's entertainment value, and that vote or rate difference can make the difference between a movie being eligible for Moons or not. Usually I wouldn't expect it to make a major difference though, unless the sound is really intrusive or annoying. PokΓ©mon runs that rely on low health for timesavers are notable examples of movies that had frequent audio annoyances have an impact on the audience, but even there I don't think it's been a deciding factor for what tier such a run has been published in.
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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For one existing data point, some Portrait of Ruin runs reduce the sound volume (costing a few frames in the beginning to do so) to cut down on this effect: Link to video
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GBA TASer of 2010
If your computer cannot handle a newer version of an emulator, and you're stuck with an accepted, but pending deprecated one, what's the stance on that?
Noxxa
They/Them
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Exotic platforms TASer of 2018Exotic platforms TAS of 2018Exotic platforms TASer of 2017Exotic platforms TAS of 2017Exotic platforms TAS of 2017Exotic platforms TASer of 2016Exotic platforms TAS of 2016Gameboy TASer of 2013
I am aware that many users cannot run the latest versions of some preferred emulators, particularly BizHawk - it is actually one of the reasons why many (pending) deprecated emulators still are accepted at all. When it comes to disallowing emulators, we aim to ensure that good alternatives exist also for people who cannot run some of the modern emulators - but this may still be limited depending on how bad the issues are with the original emulator, in terms of things like emulation accuracy, sync issues, encoding issues, and other aspects that make emulators unpreferable to us as a staff (like how Mupen64-rr or PCSX-rr got banned still).
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.