I support this idea! In my opinion, the movie rules appear too much intimidating. It's a long page, just unnecessarily tiring to read. The writing style is too much formal, which makes it excessively serious. The way it's structured is also important: there are a lot of system-specific rules that are grouped together with general rules, which also makes it look like things are more complicated than what they are.
I'm trying to figure out how it could be improved, and I'm already having some ideas. I'll take some time to think it through, I shouldn't take too long.
Edit: have here a draft, just to see if people like it. It's quite rushed and incomplete because I don't have much time at the moment, I will refine it a bit tomorrow. For now I want to note that I also suggest to change the title of the page from "Movie Rules" to "TAS requirements".
Oh and I also have to note that the only part that really seems impossible to simplify for me it's the full-completion definitions paragraph. It's intrinsically complex.
Edit: looks like it feasible after all. Linked pages coming soon.
Edit 2: Difficulty choice belongs to the guidelines only, as it's not a hard requirement anymore. The list of acceptable movie files should belong to the submission page, as well as the statement that multimedia files are not accepted (but providing a youtube encode is encouraged).
And about the warning of losing submission privileges... In my humble opinion, it should be removed entirely. It puts unnecessary pressure on the users. Getting a rejection or two is already a big let down for most people, so I think it's a very bad idea to anticipate even worst outcomes. If a judge is really tired of a submitter, they shouldn't use force to convince them to try to improve; instead, they should insist in providing help and support to the submitter, which I think it's the best way to motivate someone positively. Of course, some people may still keep failing: in that case it's ok to warn them or even actually removing privileges.
Edit 3: Both version choice and difficulty choice should belong to guidelines. However it's important to mention them for the purpose of making real-gameplay improvements, which I just added in this edit.
These are the requirements for having your TAS published on the site.
To learn creating TASes, read the TASing Guide
For any questions that remain after having read this page, please ask a judge
Use an approved emulator.
for an updated list of emulators. Development builds and unofficial versions are allowed only if the TAS can also be synced (reproduced) on an official version.
The game must be emulated well.
Don't play a game that has severe video or audio glitches that don't happen on real console. Don't exploit glitches that only happen on emulator, but not on real console.
The ROM used must be original (also the BIOS, if applicable).
ROM hacks, bootlegs, and prototypes are allowed only if they are more than 50% different than the official game, as well to any other hack already used for published TASes.
The movie should start from a clean SRAM state (record from power-on)
, unless it's necessary for unlocking a game mode used; in that case, you should provide a verification movie that creates the save file used.
The TAS goal must be meaningful.
Acceptable goals include the following three, but not limited to:
- Beating the game as fast as possible.
- Beating the game as fast as possible, while not using a glitch that would skip more than half of the game (if applicable).
- Completing 100% of the game as fast as possible. Click
here for a list of examples for full completion. Don't use ACE or memory corruption to increment directly the percentage/progress.
Any other goal is allowed, as long it as has a clear definition and it's entertaining to watch, by showing off different contents from the three standard goals, and from other TASes already published for that game. Click
for some popular examples of alternate goals.
The TAS must beat the game.
For that reason, the game chosen must have an ending or final goal. If the game has multiple game modes, each is allowed as a separate movie, if it's enough different. In that case, you may beat all modes in the same movie, if you prefer. If a game has multiple endings, it's preferred the fastest one. A regular game over screen is not allowed.
The TAS must beat any ideally possible speedrun attempt, or beat a previously accepted TAS on the site. (this does avoid Desert Bus while also catching Zool)
The TAS must be reasonably optimized and beat or match any known TAS.
Avoid obvious gameplay mistakes and use all known glitches and tricks to achieve your TAS goal as fast as possible.
No cheap improvements.
If you're TAS is aiming to beat a known record, make sure it's not just thanks to shorter dialogues, loading times, easier difficulty, or anything else that merely depends on the game version or game settings, but not on actual gameplay improvements.
No RAM code cheats.
Game Shark, Game Genie, etc. Also, don't use emulator settings that causes a game to run faster or other behaviors that wouldn't happen on real console.
No secret passwords or debug codes.
An exception is allowed if it's necessary for playing a unlockable game mode. Another exception is if it enables to make a TAS entertaining to watch and more than 50% different than the three standard goals, and other TASes already published for that game. It's always allowed if the password used is explicitly mentioned on the game manual or box.
No adult contents.
Don't use a game rated for audult-only. If a game has only partial adult contents, avoid those contents in the movie.
Don't include copyrighted material in the TAS.
This includes data stored in the movie file or displayed in-game through creative inputs.
Don't steal a TAS.
If other people collaborated in making a TAS, ask for their permission before submitting it to the site.
The movie file of your TAS must sync (reproducible) from start to end, in an official release of an approved emulator.
This sometimes may be impossible if you made your TAS with a development build (non-release) or unofficial version! If any extra steps are required for syncing the movie, they must be described in your submission text.
A game extracted from a virtual console is allowed at the conditions that it's emulated well and that it has something unique than the original version. For example unique glitches used, or an additional game mode, or if it's the only English version available.
NES, SMS, Genesis/MegaDrive, PSX, Saturn:
don't use a game version with a framerate different than the one from its original released version. Example: don't use an European version (50Hz) of a game that was first developed for Japan (60Hz).
Use the BIOS that matches the region of the game version used. SCPH-xxx0 is Japan, SCPH-xxx1 is USA, SCPH-xxx2 is Europe, and SCPH-xxx3 is also Japan. See this Wikipedia page
for more information.
Game Boy series:
Don't use a Game Boy setting if it causes severe glitches that otherwise wouldn't happen. It's preferred to use GBA mode for most Game Boy games. (it used to be a strict rule in the past, now we just want to avoid nasty exploitations)
Game Cube and Wii:
Game images in the NKit format are not allowed.
If you need to use the microphone, don't include copyrighted material. Currently only applicable with DeSmuME version 0.9.9a
Don't buy continues through additional coins.
No tampering with the files the game is composed of, and if you're emulating the system, choose a compatible machine. More details
We also allow libTAS to run PCem as a DOS machine emulator in Linux. Only TASVideos releases of PCem are allowed. Closely follow the
to prevent desyncs!
Game environment must be legitimate. More details
You need to provide the DxDiag log to prevent sync failures due to different hardware. For instructions, see the thread on the Hourglass forum
Use stable versioned releases of games, dependencies, and of libTAS
Use common Linux distributions and use movie annotations to provide installation instructions; more details
Windows through Wine games are disallowed, however for future purposes, testing this workflow is still encouraged; more details
Monster Rancher for PSX:
do CD swap action only when the game asks to, and don't use copyrighted material. Apart from that, all official PSX games are allowed. (feos recently approved this)
Again, if you still have doubts after having read this page, please ask a judge
Full completion examples (this should be its own page)
Games that have a self-defined goal for full completion
Some games explicitly ask the player to perform additional tasks beside beating the game, and then acknowledge the achievement in various ways.
Some games show a percentage gauge for an additional task:
 SNES Super Metroid "100%" by Sniq in 1:01:47.03
Some games award the player with an additional story ending:
 PSX Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back "100%" by SuPeRbOoMfAn in 1:02:50.14
Some games have their own 100% definition mentioned in their manual:
 NES Donkey Kong: Original Edition "all items" by adelikat in 01:33.83
Games that need a user-defined goal for full completion
Some games don't explicitly propose any additional challenge beside beating the game itself, however there are often many additional challenges that the players can come up with, in the form of accomplishments that can be objectively measured and maximized. Beside that, community agreement is required for defining a full completion goal.
Some games have levels that can be normally skipped:
 NES Super Mario Bros. 3 "all levels" by Lord Tom, Tompa in 1:04:36.90
Some games have a limited amount of items that can be collected:
 Wii New Super Mario Bros. Wii "100%" by Soig in 2:58:33.27
Some games have different kind of unlockables and optional challenges:
 SNES Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars "100%" by illayaya in 3:33:22.13
Some games have a scoring system that allows for a fair score competition:
 C64 Decathlon "maximum score" by DrD2k9 in 09:35.02
Examples of Moon (non-standard) goals (this should also be its own page) (I'd like to propose the term "Special Goals" instead of the old "Moon", but this isn't the place and moment)
This page lists some good examples of non-standard goals.
Read the guidelines
for some advice about how to make TAS entertaining to watch. Remember that regardless of what you do, you still have to beat the game in the end!
Examples of additional challenges present in the game
An unlockable hard mode:
 NES The Legend of Zelda "2nd quest" by Baxter & Morrison in 24:59.83
An unlockable post-game quest:
 Genesis Sonic 3 & Knuckles "newgame+" by marzojr & Aglar in 27:31.29
An unlockable game mode:
 GBC Super Mario Bros. Deluxe "You vs. Boo" by got4n, negative seven in 04:54.24
An unlockable playing character:
 GBA Sonic Advance 2 "Knuckles" by Dashjump in 20:32.08
Examples of additional goals invented by the player
I didn't include movies 3463M and 2339M because the look like full-completion goals to me, despite not having the relative tag. I will point it out in a proper place
Collecting all items even if they aren't necessary for full completion:
 NES Super Mario Bros. "all items" by DaSmileKat, HappyLee, Mars608 in 19:48.68
Collecting a maximum amount of other limited resources:
 Genesis Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 "ring attack" by Evil_3D, WST, Zurggriff in 45:01.63
Performing unintended tasks:
 PSX Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee "maximum casualties" by Dooty in 40:00.53
Beating multiple games with the same joypad inputs:
 NES Mega Man 3, 4, 5 & 6 by Baxter, AngerFist in 39:06.92
Examples of self-imposed limitations
Forgoing the usage of in-game features:
 SNES Super Mario World "no powerups, maximum exits" by PangaeaPanga in 1:18:23.22
Forgoing the usage of a glitch, even if it wasn't a major skip:
 NES Mega Man 2 "zipless" by warmCabin in 27:16.17
Avoiding performing actions considered normal in-game:
 NES Contra "pacifist" by Mars608, aiqiyou in 08:47.81
Examples of playaround
Playing in a superhuman way, while causing funny and goofy situations:
 N64 Super Smash Bros. "playaround" by Noxxa in 07:55.10
Beat the game by using unintended and unlikely solutions:
 DS Brain Age "playaround" by Ryuto in 06:33.66
Breaking the game by causing many glitches while doing superhuman play:
 GB The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening "playaround" by Bobmario511 in 40:22.78
Assuming total game control through ACE exploits:
 NES Super Mario Bros. 3 "arbitrary code execution" by Lord Tom in 08:16.23