We are updating the emulator rules to explicitly ban the ‘Limit FPS’ setting from being unchecked. Normally, this setting is easily detectable (PJ64 would run at an absurd FPS), and it was commonly accepted that this wasn't allowed. It has since been discovered that with multiple different audio plugins (Shunyuan HLE Audio, or azimer 0.70 with prevent buffer overruns enabled are two known examples) and having the 'Limit FPS' setting unchecked, the game runs at a normal frame rate EXCEPT for during the loading zones, where it wasn’t operating under the FPS cap.
As a result of these circumstances, some runners were artificially gaining time on every loading zone, which over the course of a run adds up to quite an unfair advantage. It is important to understand that this setting could be enabled by complete accident through the F4 hotkey, and the game would be seemingly running normally everywhere that wasn't a loading zone. We want to make this distinction clear, as we don't want anyone to think we are accusing them of intentionally breaking the rules. Here is an example video that visualizes this issue/provides proof of the advantage (1:05 shows the direct comparison):
Going forward, we have decided that the only fair course of action is to remove any runs from the leaderboards that have been found to have this loading advantage from the FPS being uncapped. Our reasoning for this is the following:
-it is essentially overclocking the emulator during loads, which conceptually would not be allowed if discovered on any platform, regardless of the previous verification status
-it is 100% conclusively and consistently detectable in any run, as it provides the same advantages every time when compared to normal loads, and is enough of a difference on each load that it simply cannot be argued as a recording related issue
Since there is several thousand emulator runs currently on the leaderboards, in the interest of getting this announcement out there, we have only checked runs that have either been noticed by us, or are below certain threshold times: 0 Star and 1 Star sub 9:xx, 16 Star sub 17:xx, 70 Star sub 52:xx, and 120 Star sub 1:55:xx. If you come across a verified run that you believe to have this issue, feel free to contact one of the moderators and we will look into it. Additionally, we will be checking every newly submitted emulator run for this issue, and have updated the emulator setup guide to provide specific warnings/discourage the use of the affected plugins.