Metal Gear Solid Forum  /  Torture Room Skip: Discussion
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Tromboncino and Veictas have been working on a way to skip the torture waiting during large skips, by using “blank saves” a process described in the videos I’ll link. Basically this thread is to discuss whether this should be allowed or not because as plywood pointed out not all runners are part of the discord! I’ll post the videos next.

If you could also please fill out this google doc

  [user deleted]

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First of all, we have to decide how it can be used in actual runs, since the numb3r of saves are different based on your hardware (it seems), even if the result can be accomplished by everyone in a 100% consistent way (except Plywood).

1) In my opinion, in order to be used in a standard Any% single segment run, you need to make the glitch after you start the game. That, owever, doesn't mean that you can't have saves already.
I'll make an example: Let's say I need 13 saves in order to have the blank file, but I need to save at least once in-game to make it a single segment run. If I have 12 save files already and I make 1 after I start the run, that would create the glitch in-game and everyone would be able to do it at the same time as me. This, owever, could be used only once because if you need to reproduce the glitch again, you need to make other save files and since for someone the amount of savefiles needed is just 3, I would get an incredible disadvantage. This only if Saving and Loading menus affect In Game Time. If they don't, who really cares and at this point everyone could do the glitch with the right amount of saves they need without any drawback.
EDIT: IGT is the same as RTA even if you stay inside menus.

2) Or, we could use a pre-created corrupted savefile to have it always ready without the need to create further saves. But at this point, the game becomes a multi segment run and should be allocated to a different section.

Now that everyone can get it consistently one way or another, I believe that allowing it using RTA + Time without loads (time spent on the ESC menu) is the best option we could go for to make an even playing field for everyone.

It's possible to freeze the IGT by pressing F3, then navigate on the ESC menù as well to do the glitch and unfreeze once it's done, so there's not even need for RTA without loads, just exploited IGT.

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I really like this glitch and I think in general, glitches makes runs a lot more exciting to do and watch.

My personal philosophy on "any%" speedruns is that everything is legal as long as you can do it on your first playthrough without using "external" tools. So simply using the Save Glitch to make all the necessary saves should be totally fine. Relying on pre-made saves, even if you don't actually load them, is a little iffy, but I can see the fairness angle considering different people require a different # of saves. Using a corrupted pre-made save created by an external tool is a clever work around but it's definitely crossing a line I think, and shouldn't be used.

I'm gonna lean towards allowing the Save Glitch under the conditions Tromboncino lays out.

  [user deleted]

New skip at the end of this video using this method:


After new developments about this glitch, I wrote up an analysis of the situation

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I appreciate you placing your thoughts here Horo, and would like to respond to your post.

"Don't allow the glitch...because they create unfair based on hardware. The Alt-Tab glitch was banned from Any% on this argument...."

This is only partly true regarding alt+tab. You can only achieve the glitch as far as I can tell in fullscreen mode. My bigger issue was consistency - even for myself, I wouldn't always get fast alt+tab glitch for reasons unknown. There were also a few community members who didn't like the idea of externally affecting the game via the desktop. Alt+tab glitch was known by developers back in 2000, they even put it in the readme file. I didn't like the idea of runs being won and lost because of fast or slow alt+tab glitch, and that put it in the coffin.

We are entering a similar situation with blank saves, as people get a variety of results/times depending on unknown factors yet again. This game is so poorly optimized on PC that junk like this crops up from time to time. A good example of this are the variety of glitches and setup issues that people come to me about that I never experienced!

" even playing field is desired to allow fair competition and not alienate potential runners due to hardware. This issue is very real already in console play and on the MGS series as a whole to my knowledge, PSTV being the main "offender". Speedrunning should be about finding glitches and strats that make you beat the game as fast as possible, not find which hardware loads the fastest."

On general principle I agree, but in practice it isn't so clear cut. The reality of speedrunning is you don't come to the same field to play a sport, conditions are going to vary. Hardware and version differences are part and parcel of this weird hobby.You can play well, but if the conditions of your play aren't great, this is going to affect the result. This is true in sport and in speedrunning. As a tangent, I am happy PSTV is the fastest because PS2 FDS is a trainwreck and more(!) expensive and headache inducing. Running games on Sony hardware, this issue pops up constantly. PC games often run into this issue due to hardware differences causing less/more lag, or HDD/SSD. If people want to avoid the entire issue of hardware differences, run games that only are on a single system. While it is our job as moderators to enforce fair rules, I don't think we should handicap players who can or choose to play in the best conditions. These best conditions can include controllers, hardware, and external tools (timers, tallies, metronomes, etc.).

As you can tell, I am operating under a different thought process with this issue. IF a category is to exist, I want to keep any hardware 'fairness' to a minimum. Subtracting menu times and going RTA is a fair solution, but as you rightly notice, it enables mistakes and potential abuse. In general, I feel uneasy about 'pretending' away fast or slow in the guise of fairness. The current Any% category maintains a fair ruleset pretty well, as GME isn't predicated on hardware differences. Obviously, not having this glitch is ignoring something that makes the game go as quickly as possible. That is part of the dilemma.

I still have mixed feelings about the situation, and have yet to determine the best course of action. This isn't my decision only, but I want to be transparent on it. I have flirted with the idea of having a misc. or category extension of 'anything goes that isn't literal cheating' - alt+tab, blank save, etc. But I wouldn't consider this a serious category, just a fun exercise in seeing how fast the game can possibly be.

DrakodanDrakodan likes this. 
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After some time and discussion with community members, fellow moderators, and myself, I think we have come to the best (or at least some kind of) compromise for this situation.

Very Easy is now where Blank Save lives as a category, along with Alt+Tab. For people who truly want to see the game as fast as it can possibly be done, Very Easy is now the place to go. All other difficulties will maintain their ruleset.

In addition, I allowed Area Reloader to the ruleset for Very Easy. This is going to ruffle some feathers, as this is a pre-modified save that functions as the blank save. However, until someone can make blank save non-variable without the controller setup (which seems to only exist on the patched version), this enables 'true' Any% to be fair as far as setup and rules are concerned. If you have slow hardware and menus, that's your problem. But the actual glitch itself can be controlled in this way.

I wanted to try to make a separate category for Very Easy, but due to the way the variables are set up on this board, it wasn't feasible without serious changes to the board (I'm not sure if it would have worked regardless). Thus, Very Easy is now a variable in all categories, but HIDDEN by default. This is an acknowledgement that a ) only the Integral version has Very Easy as a difficulty b ) the PC Any% rules can be considered 'cheating' from a certain perspective due to Area Reloader c ) it's a fringe difficulty that will likely not have as many players as Easy. In a sense, we are performing a quarantine to keep the remainder of the leaderboard as true to what you can do within the game as possible.

IF we can find a technical means to make the regular blank save glitch consistent across both patched and CD-ROM versions of this game, for all players, then Area Reloader could go the way of the dodo. As the current situation stands, I don't want to delay a decision hoping for a new discovery to come about.

Regardless of whether you think is a good decision or not, I hope you can find something to enjoy with watching, learning, routing, or running this game. The principal of offering substantially different and new options to play the game is good thing, in my book. That was in part the purpose of adding Alternate Round to the boards, for those who wanted something a bit different. I think Very Easy can fulfill a similar role.

TromboncinoTromboncino likes this.