(Link to video)
Submission Text Full Submission Page
"Unlike most 2D Mario games, Super Mario Bros. Special didn't have any warps, and this was faithfully kept in this romhack. This means that every level has to be completed." A quote from the movie page of the newly published TAS of this hack.
But that's not true. In fact, not every level has to be completed, because you can freely choose a starting world in the title screen.
The goal of my TAS is clear: fastest completion. The real any% run of this hack should start at World 8.
This is not cheating, because it's simply allowed by the hack creator (Frantik). He stated it in "Readme.txt": "There are two special features accessible from the main title screen: Press B to select the starting world..."
After saving the princess, you'll get the very same ending text & credits. I see no reason not to use it in an any% TAS.
Other than that, it's just an ordinary SMB hack TAS.
Frankly, it's not my favourite hack, and far from my favourite TAS. But to me, if this hack is allowed to be published on this site, it deserves a real any% run.

Suggested screenshot (frame #9175)


Samsara: Claiming for judging.
Samsara: Well, this was quite a ride.
HappyLee has been banned from TASVideos for 3 months for repeated disruptive behavior in this submission's thread. Given the author's arguments and accusations, I would like to summarize and explain the situation from a rules and judgement perspective.
First, I must clarify up front that the decision made for this run is mostly independent of HappyLee's temporary ban, in that the ban only affects one possible outcome, and only temporarily. While it is true that the run would have been cancelled or rejected had his ban been indefinite, the defining factor behind this decision is based entirely off of the nature of the TAS itself. On TASVideos, we occasionally receive submissions that require us to re-evaluate our MovieRules. This is in no way a bad thing, this is something that we want as staff. For myself especially as Senior Judge, I want nothing more than to ensure our rules are clear, readable, understandable, and malleable. If the community decides that there needs to be a change, there will be a change. This has been happening quite often lately, and I'm proud of the work we have all done as a community to make things easier and more reasonable, from the TAS authors who make runs that challenge the rules to the community members who discuss them and come to a consensus.
This was, in a way, one of those submissions. It found a weakness in the rules, and that weakness was corrected. However, unlike other submissions that lead to edits of the rules, this one found a weakness of omission and not a weakness of complication. The usage of this form of level selection as a time saving technique has never been allowed on TASVideos, and in my opinion it's unlikely that it ever will be. I don't believe any speedrunning community, RTA included, would ever count skipping 87.5% of a game through a level selection system as a legitimate strategy for an any% speedrun. Keep in mind, however, that this is an opinion and not a firm statement. There is a possibility the overall community's thoughts on this could change in the future, and we will change accordingly to fit the desires of the community.
That being said, there are ways in which this run could have been treated differently, and I'd like to go over three of the more notable ones.
The first is that this could be considered an individual level TAS. These are normally not allowed as they are incomplete runs, but we have accepted them in the past, whether it was because of the site's past focus on pure entertainment showcases, the game presenting itself as disconnected levels or level sets or, um, through a former staff member's flagrant abuse of power. That last one should never have happened and will never happen again, but I feel it should be mentioned for accountability purposes and to illustrate that individual level TASes have been frowned upon since the very beginning of the site.
In cases where we accept individual level TASes, we have a clause in the rules that handles how to treat these runs, namely that they will always be obsoleted by full game runs of their respective games, due to what we call "full content overlap". That is, the entirety of an individual level run will be contained in a full game run, so there is no need to have both published alongside each other. Were someone to create and submit a full run of Biker Mice From Mars, it would obsolete the "final round" TAS linked above. For this run, though, the full game run already exists and has been published. so even if we determined this run to be a valid individual level run, we still cannot accept it. Of course, since this is an SMB1 ROM hack, it is following SMB1's presentation of a long series of connected stages, and as such any usage of the title screen level select is explicitly skipping required content. This is confirmed further by the published run's statement that there are no warp zones, meaning all worlds and levels are normally required to be played. In short, we have to rule out this run being acceptable as an individual level.
Another possibility is that the input itself could be salvageable outside of being published. If this is a strict improvement to the published run's World 8, perhaps the two runs could be spliced together as a compromise solution. This presents a (thankfully) much simpler to describe set of problems, namely that this run and the published run cannot be adequately compared. Any improvement that this run contains would need to be recontextualized in the full game run, as conditions between the two could be completely different due to the level select. Notably, the full game run is fully powered up through World 8 while this run remains small Mario, which leads to this run actually being slower overall as it needs to wait for a piranha plant in 8-4 that the full game run can just kill, so there's no real compromise solution here either.
The final possibility is to accept the run as a new branch altogether, putting it in Alternative or Playground. Alternative is clearly ruled out by the community reaction, with the run receiving a wealth of No votes. PG, on the other hand, was quite literally made to support runs like this. There is a major problem with this option, though: The run was submitted as an any% run of the hack. As such, without any changes, it does not qualify for Playground. Placing it there would require us to change the run and treat it as something else. Not only is this going against HappyLee's original intention for the run, but given his temporary ban, he is unable to make any statements regarding how the run is presented. We should not, under any circumstances, make any changes to an author's work without their explicit consent, so as of right now we will continue to treat this run as HappyLee submitted it, which means it cannot currently be placed in Playground. However, it is still an option for the future, once HappyLee returns and is able to publicly consent to it.
I believe that's everything I would like to address. If anyone has any questions about how this submission was handled from a judgement and rules perspective, feel free to ask me directly. If need be, I will continue to update this judgement with further notes and clarifications to ensure that my thoughts and actions are understood and not misinterpreted.

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TASVideoAgent
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I liked the movie and felt it was more entertaining than the existing run of the hack, so I voted yes, even though I did not necessarily like the world-selecting part (which, in my opinion, made it trivial). Only one question comes to mind for me: does the original Super Mario Bros. Special allow for selecting worlds from the Power On state?
I'm nuts for NES Super Mario Bros. TASes
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on second thought, this movie sucks. now don’t get me wrong, the actual gameplay’s fantastic as usual, but if you want to skip to a future world, you should do that after you start the actual game. you’ve been tasing since 2008 so you should know this by now. no vote for breaking an obvious rule. go improve the previous tas properly.
hey there dudes, dudettes and everything inbetween!
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Αsumeh wrote:
Only one question comes to mind for me: does the original Super Mario Bros. Special allow for selecting worlds from the Power On state?
I'm guessing, probably not. But it doesn't really matter, because I'm focusing on this hack, instead of the original.
Recent projects: SMB warpless TAS (2018), SMB warpless walkathon (2019), SMB something never done before (2019), Extra Mario Bros. (best ending) (2020).
Memory
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Historically, skipping to the end through level select has not been allowed. TASes submitted here are expected to start at the beginning.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
Samsara
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Wiki: MovieRules#MovieMustBeComplete wrote:
You are not allowed to skip levels with passwords.
Yeah, this is effectively a level select password. It doesn't matter if the dev or even the game itself tells you that you can do it, it is still explicitly barred by our rules.
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
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Memory wrote:
Historically, skipping to the end through level select has not been allowed. TASes submitted here are expected to start at the beginning.
I checked the Wiki: MovieRules. There's no rule that says a TAS has to start from the very first level of the game, especially when it's free to select a World (which is allowed by the hack creator).
Samsara wrote:
Wiki: MovieRules#MovieMustBeComplete wrote:
You are not allowed to skip levels with passwords.
Yeah, this is effectively a level select password. It doesn't matter if the dev or even the game itself tells you that you can do it, it is still explicitly barred by our rules.
I don't think pressing B counts as a "password". Selecting worlds is literally in creator's manual.
Recent projects: SMB warpless TAS (2018), SMB warpless walkathon (2019), SMB something never done before (2019), Extra Mario Bros. (best ending) (2020).
Memory
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The rules were shortened in order for the average user to be able to understand them. They are not a comprehensive list of all precedents. EDIT: In addition to what Samsara wrote, there is also this section of the JudgeGuidelines:
Sometimes an improvement may result in an entire branch getting superseded by a bigger branch. This occurs when a new submission fully contains the gameplay, goals, and content of a published branch, while also expanding upon it. For example, a run of F-Zero that completes all leagues in one movie obsoleting individual runs of leagues.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
Samsara
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HappyLee wrote:
I don't think pressing B counts as a "password". Selecting worlds is literally in creator's manual.
It is still a level select, regardless of how it is performed, and once again it does not matter if the creator or the game mentions it. The point starts and ends with the fact that we do not allow runs to freely skip levels like this. The rule can be reworded to make it more clear this is the case, of course.
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warmCabin wrote:
You shouldn't need a degree in computer science to get into this hobby.
InputEvelution
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You've shown through your work on SMB1 and 2J over years and years that you have a very sophisticated understanding of the game. When others have submitted TASes, you've found improvements to their work. I have no doubt that you could find a framerule or two to shave off of the existing published TAS. In comparison to that, skipping to the final world via a level select and declaring it a real any% run feels pretty cheap.
Memory
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I don't think posting twice in a row does anything here.
[16:36:31] <Mothrayas> I have to say this argument about robot drug usage is a lot more fun than whatever else we have been doing in the past two+ hours
[16:08:10] <BenLubar> a TAS is just the limit of a segmented speedrun as the segment length approaches zero
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Memory wrote:
I don't think posting twice in a row does anything here.
Nobody posted twice in a row. There's just one post from each person, aside from replies.
DJ Incendration Believe in Michael Girard and every speedrunner and TASer!
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DJ Incendration wrote:
Nobody posted twice in a row. There's just one post from each person, aside from replies.
I posted twice in a row. I then requested for the first post of mine to be deleted.
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Regardless of what the rules say, what the author of the hack or the devs of the game allowed, selecting the last level and completing is just lame and completely misses the point of showing off a hack.
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Samsara wrote:
The rule can be reworded to make it more clear this is the case, of course.
Rules are rules. The current Wiki: MovieRules are comprehensive enough. You can't change the rules just because you don't like my movie. Since you also claimed to judge this submission, I expect you to be fair. The current Wiki: MovieRules doesn't say that a TAS has to start from the very first level of the game, especially when it's optional. If the hack creator allows to start at World 8, it means Worlds 1-7 are optional for completion. Since they are optional, why waste time completing them in an any% run?
Recent projects: SMB warpless TAS (2018), SMB warpless walkathon (2019), SMB something never done before (2019), Extra Mario Bros. (best ending) (2020).
DrD2k9
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Precedent regarding not using level select codes from the Movie Rules before they were simplified:
No skipping to the end with a password The point is to demonstrate how quickly a game could be beaten if the player had superhuman abilities; skipping major sections of it with a password defeats the purpose.
Granted, humans can use level select passwords/cheat codes...so does TASing with these options simply show superhuman ability of using those options? Personally, I don't think intended level select methods should be allowed in most cases (this one included), but ultimately the staff/judges will have to make a decision on this one. Now if a glitch were abused to skip the levels, that's a different situation. For what it's worth: this run, as presented, looks pretty decent at a cursory glance and is relatively entertaining. If the judge/staff decide the level skip is acceptable, I don't readily see any other reason to reject this submission.
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InputEvelution wrote:
In comparison to that, skipping to the final world via a level select and declaring it a real any% run feels pretty cheap.
Yeah, I find it pretty cheap myself, because it's too obvious (although no one mentions it in the published TAS somehow). However, my TAS is the fastest completion of this hack, so it is a real any% run.
GMP wrote:
selecting the last level and completing is just lame and completely misses the point of showing off a hack.
It's an any% run. It doesn't intend to show all of a hack. It simply aims to beat this hack as fast as possible. Even the published "all levels" run doesn't show all of this hack. For example, this hack has hidden new power-ups, and the published run got none of them. A TAS can't make everyone happy. If you don't like the any% run, watch runs with other goals instead.
Recent projects: SMB warpless TAS (2018), SMB warpless walkathon (2019), SMB something never done before (2019), Extra Mario Bros. (best ending) (2020).
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Just for clarification, are you arguing that, for example, [3243] N64 Mario Kart 64 by Weatherton in 20:33.32 should be in an "all cups" branch and that if not, it could be obsoleted by a movie with the exact same input that only completes the Special Cup?
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First of all, The current publication is essentially a warpless or all levels run. While it may not say “warpless” or “All Levels” in the branch, you can absolutely tell that that’s what the goal is just from watching the movie. So this submitted movie aiming for any% wouldn’t even obsolete the current publication if it was accepted. 2nd of all, all you really did in this movie was select the last sets of levels and just played through them. There’s no unique content being shown here, especially since this hack doesn’t contain warp pipes to other levels. It would be entirely unfair to the authors of the current publication, who worked hard on optimizing all of the levels in the game, to replace it with one that skips everything not because of some glitch or some wrong warp but instead by just selecting the last few levels. It doesn’t matter if you try to justify it by saying it’s an option available to you at the start of the game, it’s incredibly lame.
[14:15] <feos> WinDOES what DOSn't 12:33:44 PM <Mothrayas> "I got an oof with my game!" Mothrayas Today at 12:22: <Colin> thank you for supporting noble causes such as my feet MemoryTAS Today at 11:55 AM: you wouldn't know beauty if it slapped you in the face with a giant fish [Today at 4:51 PM] Mothrayas: although if you like your own tweets that's the online equivalent of sniffing your own farts and probably tells a lot about you as a person MemoryTAS Today at 7:01 PM: But I exert big staff energy honestly lol Samsara Today at 1:20 PM: wouldn't ACE in a real life TAS just stand for Actually Cease Existing
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The most recent example of the rule being violated, albeit retroactively, is [1990] NES Zanac by adelikat in 03:16.11. When adelikat made his most recent publication ([4866] NES Zanac by adelikat in 34:00.99), it was decided that it would obsolete the previous one instead of being put in its own branch as the previous one broke the in-game code rule. There is precedent in this rule being enforced.
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Skipping levels by manual selection and passwords shouldn't be allowed in my opinion, however when I read the movie rules I found no such rule that author broke, Since there are no passwords used in this submission so the rule "You are not allowed to skip levels using passwords" can't be applied here but if we consider what Memory wrote(that rules were shortened for average users) then the rule "You are not allowed to skip levels using passwords" can be applied as its real sense was to not skip levels but why punish authors for not properly worded site rules ? In personally don't like skipping levels or major content of the game.
GMP
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HappyLee wrote:
It's an any% run. It doesn't intend to show all of a hack. It simply aims to beat this hack as fast as possible. Even the published "all levels" run doesn't show all of this hack. For example, this hack has hidden new power-ups, and the published run got none of them.
It would be an any% run if you select the first level and use some kind of glitch to skip to the last level. Just selecting last level might considered as an IL and the current movie rules say - "Individual game modes (level sets, episodes, etc.), including those unlocked using passwords, are also acceptable as separate branches." A simple question, do you think if there were RTA leaderboards for this hack, "any%" would be selecting the last level and completing it? I highly doubt it.
HappyLee wrote:
A TAS can't make everyone happy. If you don't like the any% run, watch runs with other goals instead.
Agreed, but doesn't mean I shouldn't my opinion on this one.
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EZGames69 wrote:
First of all, The current publication is essentially a warpless or all levels run. While it may not say “warpless” or “All Levels” in the branch, you can absolutely tell that that’s what the goal is just from watching the movie. So this submitted movie aiming for any% wouldn’t even obsolete the current publication if it was accepted.
I agree that the current publication is essentially an "all levels" run, but it wasn't in the branch label, and wasn't stated in the submission or publication text, so I assume it aimed for any%, but the authors and judges simply didn't know or forgot that world selection is possible.
EZGames69 wrote:
2nd of all, all you really did in this movie was select the last sets of levels and just played through them. There’s no unique content being shown here, especially since this hack doesn’t contain warp pipes to other levels. It would be entirely unfair to the authors of the current publication, who worked hard on optimizing all of the levels in the game, to replace it with one that skips everything not because of some glitch or some wrong warp but instead by just selecting the last few levels.
Mostly true, but I didn't say in the submission text that my any% TAS is intended to replace any TAS. That's for judges to decide.
Recent projects: SMB warpless TAS (2018), SMB warpless walkathon (2019), SMB something never done before (2019), Extra Mario Bros. (best ending) (2020).
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GMP wrote:
A simple question, do you think if there were RTA leaderboards for this hack, "any%" would be selecting the last level and completing it? I highly doubt it.
I'm not familiar with other games (most game doesn't allow you to simply select the last level). But I am familiar with the "both quests" RTA category. The second quest is done by selecting World 8 in the title screen, just like in this TAS.
Recent projects: SMB warpless TAS (2018), SMB warpless walkathon (2019), SMB something never done before (2019), Extra Mario Bros. (best ending) (2020).
EZGames69
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HappyLee wrote:
I agree that the current publication is essentially an "all levels" run, but it wasn't in the branch label, and wasn't stated in the submission or publication text, so I assume it aimed for any%, but the authors and judges simply didn't know or forgot that world selection is possible.
The submission text says this: “ Like the original, no warps are implemented so all levels must be completed.” They clearly don’t believe the level selection counts as a warp in this case or even something worth doing in a run, so they didn’t utilize it. Whether they knew it existed or not is completely irrelevant since the goal was to play all levels.
“HappyLee” wrote:
Mostly true, but I didn't say in the submission text that my any% TAS is intended to replace any TAS. That's for judges to decide.
When you say stuff like these in your submission: “The real any% run of this hack should start at World 8.” “if this hack is allowed to be published on this site, it deserves a real any% run.” Then I find it very hard to believe your intention wasn’t to obsolete the current run.
[14:15] <feos> WinDOES what DOSn't 12:33:44 PM <Mothrayas> "I got an oof with my game!" Mothrayas Today at 12:22: <Colin> thank you for supporting noble causes such as my feet MemoryTAS Today at 11:55 AM: you wouldn't know beauty if it slapped you in the face with a giant fish [Today at 4:51 PM] Mothrayas: although if you like your own tweets that's the online equivalent of sniffing your own farts and probably tells a lot about you as a person MemoryTAS Today at 7:01 PM: But I exert big staff energy honestly lol Samsara Today at 1:20 PM: wouldn't ACE in a real life TAS just stand for Actually Cease Existing
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