Forums  /  Super Mario series  /  Super Mario Bros.  /  Announcements (Rule Changes + Mods)

First of all, we would like to apologise for the long delays people have been experiencing in having their runs verified. It's a busy time of year, and many of the moderators of the leaderboards have been unable to spend any time verifying runs. This calls for more moderators to be added to help lower the waiting times, a proposition we have discussed for a long time. While it is important that people have their runs verified faster, it is also important that the integrity of the leaderboards are upheld and cheated runs do not get accepted. Now that we have set up some mechanisms for bringing mods onto the team, this should be much more possible.

The mod team has decided to make some more changes to the way the leaderboards are run. These changes relate to the rules for submitting runs and the people who will be verifying them. Below are the new rules which will be used for verifying all runs after the time of this announcement. Here, the any% rules are shown, but similar rules will be applied to other categories as well.

Timing is done using the SDA standard:
Start - The frame "400" appears in the top right corner after selecting 1 player.
End - The frame all sprites are invisible after touching the axe in 8-4.

Approved hardware/software (please specify in the run comment):
- Original NES, Famicom or FDS
- Original NES or Famicom with Everdrive or Powerpak
- Wii, Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console
- FCEUX, Nestopia or Bizhawk
- NES Classic Edition
- Analogue NT Mini

Important rules (please read before submitting):
- All times require a video.
- Turbo/Autofire and left+right/up+down are banned.
- Times below 5:00.00 are treated with suspicion. It is highly recommended that you stream all of your attempts and provide split files to have your run accepted.
- Times below 5:00.00 require an input file if you are playing on emulator.
- Using savestates to the title screen is prohibited. You must use the reset function on your emulator or console and the reset must be shown in the video.

First of all, the timing is exactly the same. As a reminder, times of 5:03 and above for any% or 19:15 and above for warpless are not given millisecond precision on the leaderboards due to the large amount of time each mod would have to spend to accurately retime these runs, so it is recommended to leave '000' in the millisecond field.

As you can see, there is now a list of approved hardware and software for runs to be accepted to the leaderboards. It includes almost all hardware except for any clone consoles such as the retron, which are banned. The list of emulators provides accurate emulators which have the movie recording functionality for the submission of input files. Until there is an official resource for it, feel free to ask the mods or people from the community how to use this functionality. Across the three emulators, there is support for most popular operating systems, including Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, OS X and Windows.

The biggest change to the rules is that video is now required for all times submitted to the leaderboards. The 5:21 cutoff for video was very arbitrary, and led to many people submitting runs which had no proof whatsoever. There are no official requirements for the equipment used to record the video, so as long as it is clear enough and captures the gameplay feed entirely, we are happy to accept a camera pointed at a screen, a cheap capture card, or any other method as proof. For lower times, such as sub 5 in any%, we expect the feed to look good enough to easily determine the bowser pattern.

One reason that there is a list of approved emulators is the ability to get input files for high level emulator runs. An input file is a recording of all inputs given to the game, frame by frame. By making input files mandatory for runs under 5 minutes on emulator, the moderators have another form of proof to determine if a run is legitimate, speeding up run verification times.

The final announcement is that we have recruited valued community members to help with the verification of runs. The moderators we have added so far are Bismuth, goofychocobo and SuperSonic71087.
Please don't overwhelm the new moderators with requests to verify your run. We will get to them all eventually.

Happy speedrunning 🙂

- Super Mario Bros. mod team

KilleDragonKilleDragon, MurphInTheWildMurphInTheWild and 9 others like this. 

I assume old runs won’t be removed that don’t meet these guidelines (like no video for times higher than 5:21, or no input file for emulator runs, or old approved runs with now unapproved emulators)?

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver and LikeLike like this. 

how can you record input files on emulators (specifically fceux)?

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver and LikeLike like this. 

I know several emulator players are asking if a camera on the keyboard, or input display will suffice instead. Be prepared for plenty of questions 🙂

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and 4 others like this. 

Is it ok if I have input display? And if not can I use my webcam to point at my fingers pressing the keys or a hand cam or whatever it's called?

sam1370sam1370, MurphInTheWildMurphInTheWild and 4 others like this. 

How does one record inputs in nestopia ... i'm searching but can't seem to figure it out. File -> Movie just records the video, but not the inputs.

Also ... Why is OpenEmu no longer allowed? Was a perfectly fine emulator minus the frame rate difference. And other allowed approved hardware/software have a frame rate difference.

Just going to use an input display for my keyboard and webcam on my hands for now. Hopefully there will be a grace period for input files in case I PB 🙂

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and 4 others like this. 

I can't record the movie file and run the timer script at the same time on fceux

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver and LikeLike like this. 

I don't understand why emulator runs must "require" and input file to be accepted. I'd understand that it can help, but it certainly shouldn't be a requirement. Does an input display count? Where do we access the input files?

MurphInTheWildMurphInTheWild, Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver and 8 others like this. 

How to record input files:

Config -> Map Hotkeys -> Bind "Record Movie To" to a button
to change save location from the default:
Config -> Directories -> Set Movies to a folder

Now press the hotkey to start recording. You can keep recording for a while including resets or you can use the movie hotkey as an alternative reset key.
FCEUX will keep numbering the filenames.

Config -> Hotkeys -> Movie -> Bind "Record Movie" to a button
to change save location from the default:
Config -> Paths -> Global -> Set Movies to a folder

I don't recommend using the recording key as an alternative reset key for Bizhawk, because Bizhawk does not number the files and you might accidentally overwrite a PB movie.

Don't have Nestopia installed atm, but the process is similiar.

@Tecate Is there a specific reason you want to use OpenEmu? It seems to me to be just inferior to running FCEUX (via WINE if on Linux/MAX) (or Nestopia, but I haven't tested that on WINE).

@tomyancy: What is the issue? It works fine for me.

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, ThelxinoeThelxinoe and LikeLike like this. 

The input file rule makes it a bit easier for TAS runs to slip by.
All they have to do is just play back an fm2 file (of a run that's convincing enough, no crazy swag, L+R, ultra hard tricks), split convincingly enough and then just provide that video and the fm2 file and GG.
Although, to get around that, you could require frame counter for FCEUX.
If you're playing a movie, you'll see "153/2044" or whatever.
If you're actually playing, you'll probably see "532 (No movie)" or "532".

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver and LikeLike like this. 

I'm sorry but this new input file rule for emulators just seems dumb and unnecessary. First off, as far as i know, no one knows how to record an input file on nestopia, which many of us emulator people use. Second, the reason I even used nestopia was because as far as i knew it didn't have tassing capabilities. Since no one really knows how to record inputs on nestopia, this is basically saying nestopia runs are straight up banned now. Now nestopia users such as myself are wondering if this game is even worth running. I feel this rule is going to tear the community apart.

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and 7 others like this. 

It seems like the new rules were written by extremely ill informed mods as well may I add.

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and ResolutionSSBResolutionSSB like this. 

To reply to some questions:
- Old runs which don't meet these rules will not be removed
- Why would it be easier to point a camera at a keyboard than start a movie recording?
- File -> Record Movie will do on Nestopia
- Nestopia is not banned, hence why it was included in the list of approved emulators

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and 6 others like this. 

Calm down. You're acting like you have to rebel against some oppressive government or something. This is literally a post showing an active effort to make the system work better. I don't see why when one thing doesn't seem to work everyone loses their mind like it's all over; written in stone and doomed to fail.

An input file is a pretty reasonable thing to ask for from an emulator run. If I ran on emulator I'd want to record them for my runs anyway lol. Obviously all of the backlash is from people that use nestopia. No one is complaining about any other changes (and there are a lot of them), so clearly the "new rules" as a whole are not a problem. It's very ironic to be on the outside looking in and claim the mods are ill informed.

This isn't a post about how nestopia will be handled, we're discussing that right now. This is me being bewildered at the severe reactions in this thread- just latching onto the only part of the change that affects you and acting like it's the crime of the century. We're not unreasonable people; if there's an oversight we'll figure it out. In the future I suggest asking clarifying questions and not responding with outrage before hearing the answers. It's going to be okay! Speedruns NOT cancelled!

sam1370sam1370, MurphInTheWildMurphInTheWild and 14 others like this. 

becuse recording a movie uses more computer resources, especially on longer streams. And are we supposed to trim that .avi file to the specific run or submit the full 3+ hour session that I often do? If so, how do we trim the .avi file? Also, we didn't know recording the Nestopia movie would be acceptable, because the rules say (four times) "input file" which I took to mean a file of the inputs.

Pointing a camera uses far less computational resources, FWIW. Even webcam uses less (there's also the issue that players under legal age may not be allowed to use webcam if their parents don't allow it).

Mods -- why wouldn't an input display suffice?

As to why OpenEmu ... simple. It's a great emulator and makes things a lot easier for Mac players, especially those on laptop. Doing blubbler's suggetsion would require donwloading WINE, which is just another program that uses valuable resources, especially if you're using a laptop that isn't high-powered and now you're suggested/required(?) to stream or at least video record, then that also uses massive resources. What using more and more computer resources does is lag the playback on your display very badly. On top of using wine, then you need to use possbly FCEUX which has horrible input lag.

OpenEmu uses the Nestopia core (or the FCEUX core, but it also has the input lag with that core). It's the exact same emulation, just done at 60fps. I see ZERO reason to ban OpenEmu other than the mods don't want to calculate runs for 60fps (yet WiiVC or whatever it is that has even slower framerate is allowed?). You can't even TAS on OpenEmu for NES, so it should be even more allowed since it's not possible to TAS, meaning it's easier to prove the run isn't fake.

Instead, requiring WINE+FCEUX(or other emulator) is essentially alienating MAC players of the best emulator available to them.

This doesn't pertain to SMB1 in general, but the reason OpenEmu is preferred by Mac players is because they can emulate playstation, sega, NES, SNES, FDS, etc etc etc all in one spot, and it has a great library and save state system etc. It's by far the preferred emulation on Mac, and there's seriously no reason to outlaw it.

Instead, present me the reason to outlaw OpenEmu besides "it's easier for the mods."


Finally, I appreciate the job you guys do. It's not easy. But these new rules were poorly thought out without consulting the emulation community very well. How many of you mods use emulation as your preferred way of playing SMB1? I think just blubbler?

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and ResolutionSSBResolutionSSB like this. 

I don't know where the idea came from that the entire reason for this is "it's easier for the mods." Having a list of approved hardware/software is way more organized and eliminates all of the edge cases and runs done on clone consoles etc. etc. I don't understand what not wanting to calculate 60fps runs even means lol. You're going to divide by the NES framerate anyway, dividing by 60 saves you 5 keystrokes. 🙂

Again there's a weird mentality going on here that suggests we're just trying to find ways to be lazy? Making the case for something different is fine (which you've done) but this whole thread could really do without all the aggressive stabs.

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and 3 others like this. 

Fair enough.

I apologize. It sounded a bit that way with “These changes relate to the rules for submitting runs and the people who will be verifying them.” but now I realize that means who is getting added to the team. I’m wrong.

I definitely don’t want faked runs. But I also think there’s a very important middle ground that doesn’t include “input files”.

I should have gone about voicing that better. I just know a lot of the emulator community felt alienated with the current ruleset, but I appreciate the clarifications.

MurphInTheWildMurphInTheWild, Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver and 3 others like this. 

A couple other items food for thought and I’m done.

1. If we’re already streaming, how does the .avi file from Nestopia help? Wouldn’t the stream (which is a video) be enough. And many of use are recording in OBS in case the stream drops frames. Isn’t the stream and OBS backup enough?

2. Why wouldn’t an input display and/or camera on the computer/controller work to validate in lieu of an input file/.avi file as long as there’s also stream proof? Especially if splits are submitted etc.

I’m lucky in that my computer can handle the additional recording, but I know some people don’t have the computational capacity to add in a recording while also already streaming.

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and 3 others like this. 

@i_o_l When I record movie file, the timer script doesn't reset when i reset the game.

Bailey_SparkleweaverBailey_Sparkleweaver, LikeLike and ResolutionSSBResolutionSSB like this. 

Over the last year (really many years, but especially the last year) or so we've had a number of questionable runs come through (all of which were on emulator from memory). Obviously we get a lot of clearly faked runs, but some of them aren't so simple. These were runs that had no giant red flags in the gameplay itself, mainly just a number of suspicious parts. We would not have a strong enough argument to reject such runs on the gameplay alone. There were instances where the runner was gracious enough to provide an input file and it was only using that that we were able to confirm that the run was definitely not legitimate. I'm intentionally being vague here since clearly the technology exists to create a perfect run so we don't want to reveal the handful of things that we've relied on to catch some cheaters thus far. A controller cam would not have provided sufficient evidence in many of these situations (but it never hurts to have additional forms of credibility).

After facing these situations where we had to rely on a "cheater" to provide input files so that we could confirm they were "cheating", we realized a change was needed. Those runs would be on the leaderboard right now without those files. This is a very competitive game, and as has been shown recently in other communities, competitiveness brings along with it cheating (that in some cases isn't revealed until years later). Occasionally this leaderboard is used in the media/printed works when smb1 makes the news and it is a bad look not only for this community but speedrunning as a whole if the leaderboard lacks credibility. For example, there is a book on Amazon right now that literally has the any% leaderboard on its cover. These changes are meant as a compromise where performing runs is (in our opinion) slightly more inconvenient with the benefit of a more credible leaderboard.

These changes have been discussed for the last 3 months or so and went through multiple revisions during that time. Included in the mods that discussed these rules are multiple individuals that achieved sub 5 any% times on emulator, one of which was the record holder for an extended time. The rules aren't set in stone and if issues are brought up that turn out to be things that affect too many people and there are no other options for affected individuals then we'd certainly revise as needed. There are around 14 runners that have gotten a pb within the last year that would have been affected.

I also want to mention that we really should have included instructions for recording in each of the approved emulators with the announcement, so sorry about that. It looks like it's been done via replies though so I think all of the information is in this thread now.

TecateTecate, MurphInTheWildMurphInTheWild and 19 others like this.