Forums  /  Phantasy Star II  /  Turbo (again.)

I've been thinking a little about the usage of turbo in this game in particular as of late. I generally do not mind the usage of turbo, although it may add another barrier of entry to become competitive in certain games. However, I think that Phantasy Star 2, far more so than the other titles, has mashing as a definitive skill. Dialogue for instance can be triggered on every frame using different inputs, and therefore the style and quickness of one's mashing is definitely a factor in the run. In any%, the repeated inputs of the item stats glitch test the runner as well. These inputs are trivialized using a turbo button, and can create an impossible standard for people running without them.

So I put forward my question: if you think that mashing in this game is a skill, do you think turbo should still be allowed? If you don't think its a skill I would like to hear your thoughts on that as well. I want to be clear, I am not advocating getting rid of runs with turbo already posted, But I would like to create a dialogue on how we move forward.

I know turbo is a tricky subject for all games, but I've been thinking about this title in particular since I worked on the latest TAS and thought a lot about the inputs that were used and how much quicker they are when they're automated. Hopefully we can get some discussion going here.


I think mashing is definitely a skill, even more so in this game then in the other Phantasy Stars (especially in the ACE Category that doesn't necessarily mean that we need to ban turbo, (although I personally disagree with turbo use.)


i guess it could be category based. if you think it shouldn't be allowed in the shorter runs, i guess im willing to have a discussion about it (im still pro-turbo right now). but glitchless has a lot of text mashing with the visiphone that i think turbo should be allowed for.

it's also worth noting that with my turbo controller, i text mash slower with turbo than when doing it manually, so it's literally a time loss for some extra convenience and leniency on my hands. but i understand this is dependent on the controller.


I agree that mashing is a skill, one that is difficult to master.

I also agree that some people do not have the ability to mash due to physical limitations. These people should not be left out of being able to run a game. This is why the option for Turbo Controller was added upon submission.

That being said, the way things are right now is by no means perfect. Some people do not care for the mixed leaderboard (where in both Turbo and Non-Turbo are displayed on the same board) and I understand why. Separating each category into Turbo and Non-Turbo may be the best way to compromise.

I don't like the idea on any of the PS games to outright ban turbo. I know it is a sticky subject and that turbo is prone to abuse, but I like the notion of being an inclusive community, which I feel the Phantasy Star community has been in general. There has to be something that can be done to reach a middle ground where both Pro and Anti Turbo stances can agree on the best course of action for the future.


veo I was wondering about that because you can technically mash every frame whereas with a turbo controller it would only be every other frame, but with multiple button turbo you could eliminate that as well, I don't know that much about different turbo controllers, but I'm pretty sure there are some that mash every other frame, I'm pretty sure the turbo grafx 16 controllers consistently mash every frame. also with emulator turbo buttons you will always mash every other frame.

mrstarbird I've mentioned this in discord before but I saw a leader board with multiple characters not obsoleting each other, but still shown on the same leader board, and I think that would be the best way to go.


i wanted to piggyback off starbird's point about inclusivity because i feel it's really important. we have a runner with a muscle disorder in the discord who hasn't submitted any times yet but has been learning and practicing both PS2 and PS4. he's said both in the public channel and in private to me that turbo has been a huge help to him and that he'd have extreme trouble completing runs without it.

so regardless of what we end up ruling in terms of how the board is set up, i'm completely against banning turbo outright. the idea of gatekeeping people out of the community just to preserve the integrity of mashing or whatever is absolutely a losing trade to me.

MrStarbirdMrStarbird likes this. 

I'll admit I never thought of Turbo being necessary for someone to run the game, and I agree wholeheartedly with it being used for that reason. However, thats a pretty niche case, and even then I would hope any other community would be fine with such a person using turbo even if it wasn't allowed.

In response to the gatekeeping argument, I can see the logic in that. However, isn't the opposite true as well? If someone wants to run the game and compete with the best times, then sees that turbo is all over the board, but doesn't want to buck up for a controller, we've lost a potential community member right there. In a competitive hobby like speedrunning, you don't want to be outclassed right from the get go due to something silly like not having the "correct" hardware. Sure in this case its only a matter of seconds, but that really can mean everything in a hobby that is based entirely on timing something.

To me, its more than just removing part of the skill set from the run with turbo. It removes part of the human factor, and gives those with optional hardware a distinct advantage. In a longer run, such as glitchless, you'll get tired, you'll lose focus, and you'll get sloppy on your mashing after doing it repeatedly for 5 hours. However, with turbo, despite it possibly being slower than mashing, you are getting rid of all that and everything associated with it. An even footing for competitors is a must for any real competition, and I believe this is a big part of the reason turbo isn't allowed in the majority of speedrunning communities.

I am at a loss as to why turbo became a thing in the first place to be honest. I just remember it kind of showing up one day. I assume there was some kind of discussion behind the scenes, as I cant really find anything here on the site. Any clarification would be welcome, it'd be nice to have it out here in a public forum for people who were curious such as myself.

I want to reiterate, I do not think banning turbo outright will solve anything and agree with mrstarbird that there really is no easy solution that will please everyone. Its no secret I'm not a fan of using anything but the basics to speedrun (which might be odd considering I play a genesis game on my computer using a playstation 3 controller) and I'm glad to see some more opinions on the subject. In the end its just some people playing a video game fast, and not a serious matter at all, but I think that this discussion on a somewhat controversial topic is healthy for the community.


If you're going with the hardware argument, the same can be said about a person liking a game and wanting to run it but has it on one console which is proven to be slower due to load times or because certain glitches or exploits are exclusive to the other console, or because resetting the game is a bit of a process vs. original hardware (thinking of PS4 for Sega Genesis Collection where if you need to reset, you're losing more time than having original hardware). Dragon Age: Origins is a game that comes to mind as the PC version is immensely faster than the XBox360 version.

As far as the discussion, there was a rather large discussion of it for the entire series on the discord back in October 2018 (which is where most of the communication seems to happen with this series). It was brought to my attention as an idea by a member who had hand issues but wanted to run the game. It was discussed and then voted on. The community overwhelmingly supported the idea of turbo. The two options for turbo were to have it as a filter option (which is what it is now) or a separate category. The filter option won out, but seeing the boards as they are now, maybe it needs to be brought up again as far as separating it.

I guess the best simile I can think of to this would be baseball vs. softball. The game is practically the same except for equipment and field size. A person who hits 50 HRs in Softball in one season, while still impressive, doesn't look as impressive as a person who can hit 50 HRs in baseball in one season. Does this mean the achievements of the softball player are any less remarkable? Of course not, but the HR leader in Softball doesn't rank on the same leaderboard as that one from baseball.

Perhaps separating categories would be a better option.