What hardware and emulators are or aren't allowed for runs
2 years ago

Mostly for clarification purposes.

Most of what isn't allowed isn't being so permanently, as we generally don't have enough footage of the game being played this way to tell if it is legitimate to be used in runs. In such cases, it is better to stay safe and not allow their use, until someone comes along and help us figure out their viability.

So :

  • PS1 console and emulation (any software) are allowed. See Amoser's comment below for specification on two specific emulators.

  • PSP is allowed. See the 4th post for more info. Emulators ? We don't know.

  • PSVita is allowed. Also read the 4th post for details. Same deal with emulators.

  • PS2 console is allowed, but emulation is a tricky subject. Not only it is reputed to not be of great consistence, we also simply have no idea how it really looks like.

  • PS3 console (PSN) is allowed, but the emulation of the console itself or homebrow PS1 emulation aren't, for the repeated reasons.

  • PSTV is allowed, idk if there's emulation of the entire thing but it should be obvious as to what that entails.

  • Any weirder console setups (homebrew PS2 on PS3, PS1 through PS2 through PS3 on PS4), will probably not be allowed for the same reasons.

Edited by the author 2 years ago
amoser, buggle and 2 others like this

Update, what Amoser said from Discord :

" Right, so I should probably mention that, for the fast disc speed, we've tested RetroArch with the two Beetle PSX cores, and we've tested the standalone version of DuckStation... but someone has actually ported DuckStation to the Libretro framework, so it's also possible to use RetroArch with a DuckStation core. We haven't tested that particular configuration, though.

So if you can, I recommend sticking with either the standalone version of DuckStation or RetroArch with Beetle PSX or Beetle PSX HW. That said, if there's some significant benefit to using DuckStation as a RetroArch core, it wouldn't be a problem to test that out; as far as I know, though, it still has some limitations compared to the two configurations we already allow.

(Although in terms of load times, it's probably fine, since reading from the disc should be exactly the same code as in the standalone DuckStation, but I'd hate to have a run be invalidated in the off-chance that doing it this way turns out to be a tiny bit faster than real hardware, or something like that) "

So this setup won't exactly be allowed for now.

Edited by the author 2 years ago
Nazzareno likes this
Super moderatoramoser
He/Him, She/Her, They/Them
2 years ago

These are the specific disc speed settings to use for RetroArch and (standalone) DuckStation.

RetroArch: Use either the "Beetle PSX" or "Beetle PSX HW" cores. In the "Options" menu (which can be reached from the Quick Menu, while the game is running), set the "CD Loading Speed" to "4x"

DuckStation: Under "Settings"->"Console Settings", set "Read Speedup" to "2x (Quad Speed)"

Balneor likes this

Thanks to the contribution of Bobbykaze, and after some reconsideration, here's a much needed update to this post :

PSP and PSVita are now allowed. With them being official ways to play the game, there really was no reasons to reject them, even if they might not as stable as other consoles.

And now, about that. This is where Bobbykaze steps in. He played the game on all consoles linked to PSN, but also PSTV (we'll see why later). And along his vast gaming and console experience, he helped us get a much better look at these consoles, for which at first glance, might look irrelevant.

We'll begin with PSP. Yes, it has a couple crash spots :

  • During the world map screen, with the Ngapokos flying up and firework being set off, the melody in the background glitches a little bit, and a random Wind Ring firing sound plays. That behavior almost systematically causes a crash the moment it plays. Thankfully, it can be avoided by simply pressing onwards. ( & ().
  • Right before the Pamela fight cutscene begins, so when the screen entirely fades to white after loading, the game can just hang indefinitely. Unfortunately, as far as we know, this one is both likely and unavoidable. This, right before a pretty RNG section of the game... not a very enticing console to play on then. But obviously, it'll remain allowed, as not getting any crashes translate in having a perfectly normal and healthy run. () BUT. Bobby showed to light that these issues don't happen on the Japanese version. So you might want to play on that. () Also, it's not quite the original Japanese version. The Karal cutscene different test showed it was more akin to the Family version. (). More testing would need to be made, however. Could be its own different thing.

As for PSVita, it is reported to be devoid of these crashes.

But now for the shocking revelation...

Both of these have loads THAT ARE ALMOST JUST AS FAST AS PSTV, WHAAAAAT. Without input lag too ! ...Wow. Well, guess they suddenly aren't useless anymore, huh. To say this was in front of our eyes. And we were considering banning them...

On the other hand, we learn that PS3 has a rather bad time competing. This isn't necessarily a very telling comparison, but Bobby insists that it's the same deal with boss and book loading-times ().

So yea, what a gift. These consoles, plus a cheap version of the game, seem to be a very reasonable way to run. So don't ever neglect them.

Besides, they might have other secrets we don't know about. Could the distributed game versions of PSN stand out from the originals ? Is there talk to be made about other crashes, glitches ? We'll never know for sure without playing them extensively. Granted, that's a treatment that still has yet to be given to basically any other versions and consoles for DtP, aside from PS1 and USA, my field of play and research for years.

Will update the main post with the new regulations later. (done)

Edited by the author 2 years ago
amoser and Bobbykaze like this

Until now, there wasn't any precedence here on emulator runs done with USB loader such as OPL.

Here's footage of someone (@2003041) using it on a real PS2 (USA version of the game) :

By the eye, it looks like the pre-boss loading-times, as well as world map next stage loads time are slower than a real PS2 with the Namcollection disc (the fastest known setup). It might even be slower than the fastest known emulators. Either way, on their own, runs of the game on such a setup would be allowed.

On the other hand, the game appeared to be quite unstable on their end. Random crashes (https:// www.twitch.tv/videos/2078451032?t=2h17m41s), cutscenes glitches (https:// www.twitch.tv/videos/2078451032?t=3h35m3s), bugs (Most sound effects are being instantly cancelled during the Rongo-Lango boss fight : https:// www.twitch.tv/videos/2078451032?t=0h34m40s)... it's impossible to say if these are consistent to this running method, but the question can be asked nonetheless.

In the end, we would ulltimately need more experiments with this game setup style to conclude anything.

What if Namcollection was emulated instead ? What about a Backwards Compatible PS3 and Namcollection ? These are valid questions to be had.

2003041 likes this
Super moderatoramoser
He/Him, She/Her, They/Them
1 month ago

It's worth noting that the standard we've used for playing the original/USA version unofficially (e.g. on emulator) has been to ensure that the loading times are slower than that version on PSTV (the fastest known official way of playing it) rather than NamCollection, since the mechanical differences between the two versions are just enough that getting NamCollection's loading times on the USA version could be considered an illegitimate advantage.

I do check NamCollection on emulator every so often. It gets better every time I try it, but it's still pretty slow and inaccurate by speedrunning standards. My guess is that it will continue to lag behind Klonoa 2 in terms of emulation accuracy, simply because Klonoa 2 makes more typical use of the PS2 hardware than a game that's trying to look and feel just like a PS1 game. It might be worth revisiting the question of allowing emulated runs of Klonoa 2, though.

Balneor likes this

Hey. Someone has recently done a run on PS2 emulation with Namcollection, so we figured it was a good time to make an update post about the legality of PS2 emulation in general.

The run :

Overall, me and amoser are still deeming unfavorable the use of PS2 emulation as a playing setup for speedruns of this game. It is a concern of loading-times and emulation quality.

We have looked at the footage of this run. Overall, outside of a couple visual glitches that are imperceptible but for the experienced, the game looked perfectly stable and consistent.

There is, however, a big but. While the loading-times of room-to-room transitions do look consistent, those met during the save screen, or the pre-boss waiting segments are, for an unexplained reason, significantly slower than on a real setup. It’s not just that they take longer to load, but the game animations seem slowed down as well. So much that it’s even slower than 50 Hz gameplay ! This is definitely not normal.

As a recall, while we do allow emulation, we require for it to always be slower than the fastest current and official setup of the game, which is a real PS2 + Namcollection disc. This is to stay within the realm of real, achievable gameplay.

Applying this fact to this run, it looks like this emulated gameplay is fine, since it technically is slower. However, we do not find this conclusive, as we have no guarantee that the results would be the same between everyone’s vastly different computers specs. Not just that, but this loading-time bug could end up being fixed in the future, and make this emulation fast again. With a real risk of it taking over the real deal.

Let it be said : PS2 has advanced tremendously, and it’s quite impressive that it’s able to emulate the game this well now. But it still has some ways to go to match the degree of perfection and stability PS1 emulation has. This said, PS2 emulation can definitely be used with DtP for speedrunning practice, or even to do research on.

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