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Super Mario 64 DS Forum  /  MaxDragonSoul's IL times
(edited: )

I have been thinking for a while that some of MaxDragonSoul's IL times are too good to be true. Unfortunately his lack of video has made it difficult to get any concrete evidence for this, but I believe I now have enough. However I am not accusing him of cheating: please skip to the final paragraph if you wanna see what I have to say about the evidence and don't care about the evidence itself.

A good example is Shoot into the Wild Blue (Mario) (, where his claimed time is 9.82. The strat described is ¤slower¤ that the one done in the 28 star TAS WIP ( at 8:58) but his time is only 0.09 slower than the TAS. Even with the same strat, getting this close to the TAS would be pretty ridiculous but with a slower strat it is frankly impossible. That TAS time was improved by 0.3, but it was using an even faster strat: The 9.73 strat was perfectly optimised.

Another example is Over the Rainbow Black Box Star (Wario) ( Unfortunately for this one Max did not provide the exact time, just that it was 7.xx. Using a ledge grab strategy I was only able to get a low 9s time. Admittedly I was grabbing onto the black box instead of the cloud but I think this should be very close to if not faster than grabbing the cloud as you can then ground pound instantly to get the star. I then managed to perfect a strategy that skips the ledge grab entirely, getting me 8.4: This is still not 7s, even using a faster strategy than Max.

The final time that confirmed my suspicion that something was wrong was this one: Princess's Secret Slide Sub 21 Star (Mario). Here is my run, 21.9: And his run, supposedly 20.9: My run is pretty clean and I doubted strongly that an entire second could have been saved. And it turns out that 20.9 is actually FASTER than the TAS time for this star: in the 28 star WIP the time is 21.1 ( So this time of his is evidently impossible.

I am not accusing MaxDragonSoul of intentionally cheating, and don't believe his runs should be removed. What I believe has happened is a timing error: he has started timing when he gains control rather than on the first visible frame of the level after the black screen. Using this timing method my ledge grab Over the Rainbows run would have been around 7.7s, and my faster strat one a low 7, both tying what he got. This error of around 1.5s, or slightly more or less depending on the course, would explain his other suspicious times too. This is hopefully what has occurred, as then all that needs to be done is the time from the first visible frame to gaining control for each level needs to be calculated, and then added onto each times. I will stress again this time will be different for each course. This theory seems the most likely and it would also explain him beating 3 of the Big Penguin Race times by 1s.
If this was malicious he would not have provided explanations of strats used for most of his runs, so I do just think this is a misunderstanding with how runs are timed. Hopefully it can be resolved with a few hours of editing runs, and none need to be removed. Having a direct way to contact him would have alleviated the need for this thread, but sadly all he has is a dead link to a YouTube channel on his profile. Ideally he will see this thread naturally, and worst case scenario a mod simply links it within a rejection message. I hope no action is taken until he makes a response, as although I highly suspect there has been a timing error of some sort, it might not be exactly what I described.

Edit: I also wanna mention that some of his runs are almost certainly timed ¤correctly¤: his Goomboss Battle switch star time ( was only a few frames slower than what I got today, 13.98 vs 13.8. And I changed up my strat a little to save a few frames at the end with a long jump, so his time seems like exactly the time I'd expect to see after grinding my old strat. So I'm a little more confused with what's going on now 😛

MaxDragonSoulMaxDragonSoul, blueYOSHIblueYOSHI and 6 others like this. 

I was wondering the same thing

MaxDragonSoulMaxDragonSoul likes this. 

Hello Really Tall, and thank you for bringing this up.
Let me explain myself. I didn't read the rules before submitting runs and suspected you would start on the first frame you could move. Why would I think this? Because heading in a level as Yoshi and grabbing a cap seemed more reasonable than zipping back and forth changing character, wasting LOTS of time. I'm not a serious speed runner like yourself, I'm 13 and simply play this as a hobby. I'll agree that my runs were not timed correctly, and should be changed accordingly, excluding the levels where Yoshi cannot choose a cap, and Big Book's Haunt which he is unable to access. I'd like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused Really Tall, and I will suggest you ask a mod to increase my times by the margins necessary. I will keep speed running and hopefully reclaim a few records I am now losing, but I want you to know this fault was not intentional, but an overlooked part of my run. Thanks again for bringing this up, and I'll make my runs properly from now onward.

VTMagnoVTMagno, blueYOSHIblueYOSHI and 3 others like this. 

Thanks for the explanation! It's fine that the runs were submitted wrong, they just need to be fixed. A list of all the runs that were timed incorrectly would be very helpful, then we can figure out the amount that each needs to be increased by, as it varies by stage. I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly but are you saying you entered a level as Yoshi and selected a cap, Mario's cap for example, and then started the timer when able to move? Selecting a cap like that is allowed, but would mean your run would be under the Yoshi category, for example like this run: For any Mario/Luigi/Wario runs you need to actually enter the stage as that character. So if I'm getting what you said then some of your runs may need moved from Mario/Luigi/Wario over to Yoshi, along with being retimed. This is easily done but would unfortunately require you to redo quite a few runs 😕 Selecting the Mario cap is often faster for Yoshi ILs so you'll basically just have lots of Yoshi times instead of Mario times it sounds like, but your Luigi and Wario runs will essentially need redone.

And most of all I'm glad you're not demotivated by this, it will be fun to have you to compete against! I hope you set lots of good times in the future 🙂

MaxDragonSoulMaxDragonSoul likes this. 

It's depressing that I will have to redo my runs, as I considered going in a level, putting on a cap of a better character and submitting it as Yoshi would be cheating, but I'll respect the rules and do my runs again.

(edited: )

I've reviewed my runs and only the BOB-CCM and HMC-RR would have used the Cap Method, however I can remember using the actual character for a number of runs for a while, then stopping. I remember taking a long break before returning, which is when I started to use cap method. I also look forward to competing. Even with only a few runs, you've clearly established yourself as a knowledgeable and excellent player!
EDIT: My BOB 100% and WF 100% were using the actual character. Over The Rainbows Black Box was timed incorrectly, I'm not aware how but you've proved it.
(ANOTHER) EDIT: Figured it out. Any run with more than two characters submitted on the SAME DAY means I used the cap method.


Alright. And were all of the runs timed incorrectly? Or just the ones using the cap method? If they were all timed incorrectly then we'll also need to take into account the time taken to put on a cap, and make sure we do it for the right ones. Shouldn't be too much of a problem though.

MaxDragonSoulMaxDragonSoul likes this. 

Just the cap method. Idk WHAT I did wrong with the slide/rainbows. I must've been real tired to mess those up.


It would be easier to erase some stages I used more than one person in, apart from Yoshi, and replace my runs.


My guess is you just used the cap method timing for those stars, despite not actually putting on a cap. I'm gonna calculate what all the times should be right now, it will be a couple of hours until I have everything timed and checked. I guess a good start would be to delete your runs where you used multiple caps as Yoshi and leave only the fastest one. It can then be edited later to the correct character (Yoshi) with the correct time. So for Snowman's Big Head as an example you'd delete the Yoshi, Mario and Luigi runs, as the Wario run is the fastest. Then later I'll tell you the correct time and you can edit it to that time and also to Yoshi, and mods can verify it again.

MaxDragonSoulMaxDragonSoul likes this. 

If you happen to know the time more accurately than to the second for the ones where you didn't note it in the comment then that would also be helpful. Otherwise we'll just have to assume it was high: if you have a 14s time and we have to add 1.3s for gaining control and 1.4s for the cap (2.7s total) then we wouldn't know if it was 14.1 going to 16.8 or 14.5 going to 17.2, and would just have to assume it was a 17. Kinda sucks but there's no better way to do it 😕

MaxDragonSoulMaxDragonSoul likes this. 

Anywhere where I didn't note the exact time, assume .5. I can remember a lot of my runs being that.


Okay so were JRB, BBH and LLL timed correctly? Or did you still start timing upon gaining control, but use the actual character?

Also if you used the cap method within a course, was timing for the IL where you didn't select a cap at all done from fade in or control? For some levels (like Slip Slidin' Away) your Yoshi time is actually the fastest one so I'm figuring out what the correction should be to those.


Here are (I believe) all the edits required. If you click on one of your runs there is a symbol in the top right corner with three dots, which brings up a menu which includes editing your run. Then change the time and/or the category.
I wasn't sure how you timed the Yoshi runs for stars where you had been using the cap method, so if it was fade in the times stay as they are, or if it was gaining control you need to add 2s. Also wasn't sure if cap method was used for TTC/RR so change those or not depending on if it was. And JRB, BBH and LLL are fine if I understood what you said about where you used the cap method, but if not I can figure out the time to add on later.

I hope you reclaim all these records with the correct timing and character soon! On the plus side you have lots of new Yoshi records 😛

BoB 100%: fine
WF 100%: fine

BoB: +1.6s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3s
BoB 1: 1:01 -> 1:04, Mario -> Yoshi
BoB 3: 0:58 -> 1:01, Mario -> Yoshi
BoB 4: 0:57 -> 1:00, Mario -> Yoshi
BoB 6: 0:59 -> 1:02, Mario -> Yoshi
BoB 7: 0:13 -> 0:16, Luigi -> Yoshi
All other BoB runs -> deleted

WF: +1.6s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3s
WF 1: 0:40 -> 0:43, Mario -> Yoshi
WF 2: 0:16 -> 0:19, Luigi -> Yoshi
WF 3: 0:09 -> 0:12, Mario -> Yoshi
WF 4: 0:52 -> 0:55, Luigi -> Yoshi
WF 5: 0:19 -> 0:22, Mario -> Yoshi
WF 6: 0:31 -> 0:34, Mario -> Yoshi
WF 7: 0:21 -> 0:24, Mario -> Yoshi
All other WF runs -> deleted

CCM: +1.7s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.1s
CCM 1: 0:28 -> 0:28/0:30 , keep as Yoshi
CCM 2: 0:26 -> 0:29, Mario -> Yoshi
CCM 3: 0:40 -> 0:43, Mario -> Yoshi
CCM 6: 0:12 -> 0:15, Luigi -> Yoshi
All other CCM runs -> deleted

JRB: fine?

BBH: fine?

LLL: fine?

HMC: +1.7s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.1s
HMC 1: 0:55 -> 0:58, Mario -> Yoshi
HMC 2: 1:45 -> 1:48, Mario -> Yoshi
HMC 3: 1:11 -> 1:14, Mario -> Yoshi

DDD: +1.8s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.2s
DDD 7: 0:20 -> 0:23, Luigi -> Yoshi
All other DDD runs -> deleted

WDW: +1.9s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.3s medium
+2.4s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.8s low
WDW 1: 0:13 -> 0:16, keep as Yoshi (low)
WDW 2: 0:13 -> 0:16, Luigi -> Yoshi (medium)
WDW 3: 0:51 -> 0:55, Mario -> Yoshi (low)
All other WDW runs -> deleted

TTM: +1.6s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3s
TTM 4: 1:07 -> 1:07/1:09 , keep as Yoshi
The other TTM run -> deleted

SL: +1.6s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3s
SL 1: 0:10 -> 0:13, Wario -> Yoshi
All other SL runs -> deleted

TTC: +1.8s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.2s
TTC 4: 1:44 -> 1:47, Mario -> Yoshi (Was incorrect timing/character actually used here? Old run and only one character)

RR: +1.7s gaining control & +1.4s cap = +3.1s
RR 5: 0:40 -> 0:43, Mario -> Yoshi (Was incorrect timing/character actually used here? Old run and only one character)

Secret stars
PSS Mario: +1.5s (0:20 -> 0:22)
Over the Rainbows black box star: +1.6s (0:07 -> 0:09)
Other secret stars: fine


Yeah JRB BBH were done with Mario. LLL I think may have used cap.


Instead of changing it now, I'll wait til the weekend, do proper runs and then change the time to whatever I actually got.


It would be better to change them now. Even if you think you can manage to redo ~50 runs in a weekend, the current runs can all be submitted under Yoshi. Will be a lot less confusing to just sort everything now than to try and replace and move runs one at a time as you do new ones.


So all cap runs will be put under Yoshi, adding the amount of time needed.

(edited: )

I'm re doing them now. And if I properly pull off the run I can keep it up.


For many ILs using a cap with Yoshi is the best strategy though, and as you've already done the Yoshi runs there's no reason to not have them up on the leaderboards. Some will definitely need to be moved from Mario/Luigi/Wario over to Yoshi at some point or just deleted, as these few will be impossible to beat with the correct timing. Will honestly be easier to just fix them all now with the times I calculated, and then you can replace as many or as little as you want with new runs, whenever you want.

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