Hello, and welcome to TASVideos!
Table of contents
A speedrun is a very fast playthrough of a video game, the goal being to play through the entire game as fast as possible. Speedruns performed by humans are often referred to as real time attack (RTA) runs, reflecting their nature of being performed in real time with live controller inputs.
TAS stands for Tool-Assisted Speedrun (or Superplay), which is self-explanatory: TASes are speedruns (or superplays) that are made with the assistance of various tools.
A more technical term for a TAS is an input file, as a TAS is a pre-programmed series of inputs that is intended to be played back in the exact same way every time. In that regard, they are similar to piano rolls for player pianos, except with controller inputs instead of piano notes, and a video game instead of a piano.
What tools are used in a TAS?
TASes are most often produced in emulators. Emulators are deterministic software recreations of video game consoles, built to be as accurate to the console's hardware as possible. Emulators come with tools and functionality intended for the convenience of the user, and it's these tools that make TASing possible. Note that in cases where a system cannot be emulated for technical reasons (such as PC games), frameworks such as libTAS can still provide a deterministic environment and TAS tools without emulation. For organizational convenience, we list these frameworks under emulators, even though they do not emulate any hardware.
The two most important tools are save states and frame advance. Save states allow for a user to instantly save and load any game at any time, which TASers frequently use in order to go "back in time" and fix any and all mistakes, even mistakes that only cost fractions of a second. This is also known as re-recording. Frame advance is the process of advancing a game one frame at a time, entirely at the user's command. TASers often work at this level of slowness and precision, allowing for superhuman reaction time and physical ability. We also frequently use RAM Search and RAM Watch, which allow TASers to find and monitor the exact values stored in a game's random-access memory. This can be used for anything from tracking the player character's horizontal speed to figuring out how to manipulate luck by directly monitoring the game's random number generator (RNG).
What is TASVideos?
What isn't TASVideos?
TASVideos is not the authority on TASing. We do not dictate how TASes are made, and we definitely do not dictate what TASes are made. We are not here to stifle personal accomplishments or creativity. Our technical requirements and standards for optimization are purely for us, and are not meant to be seen as any sort of "official" way to TAS.
Why do we do this?
Because it's awesome.
We love TASing not only as a medium for entertainment, but as a curiosity for seeing how far video games can be pushed. We love TASing as a way of both preserving gaming history by endorsing and advancing emulation, while also innovating the way games are played by putting them into fields entirely unintended by developers. We love TASing as an outlet for creativity, both in problem solving on levels that may not even be seen by the human eye and in personal expression and freedom just through controller input.
Is TASing cheating?
A TAS is only cheating if it is intentionally being misrepresented as an RTA speedrun. Our community and the RTA speedrunning community closely work together and share knowledge, but our competitive ecosystems remain completely separate: TASes must only ever compete with other TASes. We do not, and will never, support anyone who attempts to gain an advantage in the RTA community by using a TAS.
TASVideos does not host or distribute any copyrighted content, and we do not endorse software piracy in any form. Our gameplay videos fall under the Fair Use doctrine.
Links and Redistribution
Please do not link directly to input files. Link to Movie pages, Submissions, or Userfile pages instead.
TASVideos submissions and publications are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license (CC-BY 2.0). By submitting your TAS, you are agreeing to it being published on TASVideos under this license. This does not mean you are giving us the rights to your TAS: As long as you are the author, you are free to do anything you wish with your work.
If you are not the author, you may...
- Freely redistribute our TASes in any medium or format
- Remix, transform, and build upon our TASes for any purpose, even commercially
In return, CC-BY 2.0 and TASVideos require that you...
- Properly and accurately attribute all authors of the TAS.
- Link to the correct publication, submission, or Userfile on TASVideos.
- Properly label everything as tool-assisted.
- Do not modify any of our publication encodes, including and especially the two-second logos at the beginning of each video.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us.
TODO: Update/Modernize the rest of this.
- Newcomer Corner
- Site Rules
- FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions
- TASing Guide: Everything you need to know to learn TASing
- Movie Rules: Runs submitted here normally conform to these rules
- Guidelines: Additional suggestions for creating runs which are likely to be well-received
- Article Index: All our articles neatly grouped together
- Userfiles: A large variety of input files and user scripts to look through, use, and learn from
- List of authors: List of everyone who has contributed a movie that has been accepted for publication
- Applications: List of applications which support accessing TASVideos content from your home theater, cell phone, and more
- Site History: History of this website
Minimum System Requirements for Site Browsing
- macOS: Sierra or newer
- Safari: 12+
- Chrome: 60+
- Firefox: 55+
- Windows: 10 or newer, 7+ supported in Firefox/Chrome though not recommended
- Internet Explorer: unsupported
- Edge: supported
- Chrome: 60+
- Firefox: 55+
- iOS: 12 or newer
- Android: Technically works back to 4.4 on Chrome 60+ but please use Android 9+ to receive security updates
For a well-written outside perspective on the TAS phenomenon, check out As Fast as Impossible: 10 Insanely Thrilling Tool-Assisted Speedruns. This article, written by John Teti, goes more in depth about what tool-assisted speedruns are, and which are the top 10 examples that best demonstrate what these runs are about. Anyone being introduced to these movies should enjoy reading this article, which teaches newcomers how the movies are made, and chooses which are the ideal first movies to watch to become exposed to these speedruns.
- Tool Assisted Speedrun Lecture: a lecture about the TAS where you'll find all the basis for a good understanding using concrete examples and videos.