Super Mario Bros. 2 Forum  /  Integrity of "All Levels"
  bjwbjw

So as of this moment, "All Levels" as a category name is a bit of a misnomer. The primary issue is allowing for Mouser skip: a trick that involves a forced game over in 1-2 and then warping from 1-1 to 1-3, thereby circumventing the need to formally complete 1-2. One can argue--through loose interpretation--that entering 1-2 meets the requirements set by "All Levels", but I'm in the camp that treats this name as completion rather than mere visits. If you're unsure about whether or not 1-2 is actually flagged as completed in the game code, defeating Wart with Mouser skip results in a final tally of 19 levels during the podium sequence at the end (there are 20 levels in SMB2).

Now, what I'm suggesting isn't necessarily the banning of a trick. I understand that a lot of runs on the leaderboard employ this route and I would prefer not to obsolete times wholesale. I would argue that the easiest solution here, if one is taken, is to rename the category to something like "All Worlds" or whatever else is deemed most appropriate.

Ultimately I'm leaving this up for discussion, so please let me know what you guys think.

HolySanctumHolySanctum, qwertyloolqwertylool and Tebt_WTebt_W like this. 
  GreenDeathFlavorGreenDeathFlavor

The whole thing with Mouser skip made things a bit tricky. I am in agreement that Mouser skip shouldn't be banned and I never noticed that it only records 19 in the end, but it makes sense. I had one idea of calling it "no warp vases". That, at least, makes it clear the run is just done without using the regular warps. All worlds is okay as well, it says all worlds must be played to complete the run.

 
  whitman_price_whitman_price_

I see your point with the All Levels label and the category names are a bit confusing. I think it used to be called Warpless, but it got changed because of the mouser skip/wrong warp being found (I was thinking about that too RottDawg that SMB1 has a wrong warp and is still called warpless). If I was just talking to someone about the run causally, then I would probably just call it warpless. The overall purpose of the category is to do a run without using the warp vases.

I think All Levels was chosen because you are still playing each of the levels (but don't necessarily complete them). Your suggestion of All Worlds has a similar purpose, but would technically be more accurate, so I am fine with using that instead. We can see what other people think and then update as needed.

 
  IluvMarioIluvMario
(edited: )

Well, I thought this whole "All Levels" thing was solved, but apparently it isn't. I would just suggest banning the trick, but that wouldn't be fair to the people who still have the trick in their runs. Also, I'm not the one who found the trick in the first place, so I can't make up the rules for it.

I can argue that Mouser Skip does give players a bigger advantage to come out of World 1 with a more optimal time. This is one reason I stopped doing the trick in my runs, because I felt that it was a bit unfair, and also people were getting annoyed by it.

Perhaps, putting "Any%" in front of the name would make things more clear, so that people can just go about doing the levels in World 1 however they want to without worrying about the score at the end of the game. That way, we're not completely changing the name of the category. Having a completely different name for the category on the NES version would make it kinda silly I think, since the All-Stars version of the game is still called "All Levels" as well.

Let me know what you guys think of my idea.

 
  JumpyluffJumpyluff

Don't be afraid to use subcategories or variables, folks. Our good friend and lord "Pac" implemented a lot of tools for leaderboard moderators to use to solve similar issues. Whether you ban it or remove it you're probably going to piss a LOT of people off especially if you remove top times.

This being said, I've never ran this game and don't have a fully working intimate knowledge with the overall workings, but this is something that strikes me as an issue that may be solved with the tools available. Good luck boys!

 
  IluvMarioIluvMario

So, I did a little testing with Mouser Skip and got interesting results. I did World 1 using the strat as well as you can pretty much, and found that it's actually still about 1.4 seconds slower than doing World 1 optimally the normal way. So, in a way, you're actually at a disadvantage doing World 1 like this, since you're wasting 1.4 seconds that you could be saving otherwise by just getting an optimal World 1 normally.

However, I can see doing World 1 this way making it more consistent to come out of World 1 with a good time, since normally, you have to go for the Veggie Glitch and the fast Mouser kill, which can be a pain sometimes.

Thought I would share this, because I feel that it's important to people who are serious about this game. Here is what World 1 might look like if you decided to go for Mouser Skip:

World 1 in this video took me 2:33.7 (using my timing) to complete. My best World 1 time is 2:32.3 (using my timing).

 
  bjwbjw

Thanks for the suggestions and notes guys.

After some discussion elsewhere and with a variety of people, I think one of the common concerns and potential dangers here is setting bad precedent by allowing Mouser skip at all. For example, the current strategy for Mouser skip isn't even the theoretical fastest (I believe a second controller can be used to expedite the game over?). Other warps are possible as well, such as forcing a game over in 3-3 and then warping from 3-1 to 3-3's Mouser fight. I'm sure more weird stuff will be found in the future, and this is in addition to the fact that world 1's Mouser skip already results in 19/20 completed stages. "Warpless" probably isn't the best name for this category because I would argue that ladder clips (e.g. 1-1, 1-3) are effectively wrong warps but have legitimate use and are true to the spirit of the category in its current form.

An immediate solution that I'd like to propose is retaining the name "All Levels," banning Mouser skip, but grandfathering in all runs already on the leaderboard. It's not the greatest option, but it preserves the leaderboard in its current form and it would protect the category from discoveries down the road that lie in a gray area of sorts.

With respect to the relay at SGDQ 2017, we can accept Mouser skip since I know runners may want to show it off and it's what they've thoroughly practiced.

 
  IluvMarioIluvMario
(edited: )

You're right about the second controller thing. I actually forgot about that one. When I was told about that, I actually started doing it, but people started coming in and complaining about it, so I immediately stopped using that tactic to get better times. The agreement with that was you should have to use one controller to complete the game. A second controller would be used as an emergency, such as if you happen to softlock at Fryguy, you can take a death on command to get yourself out of the softlock. This is something that can happen at SGDQ 2017.

I haven't seen one done in World 3, but that probably wouldn't end up saving any time in the end, since there's not really any convenient places to clip through the ground. It wouldn't surprise me if there is another place to do something similar that does save time, though. You never know with these games, new things are being discovered all the time.

I'm in agreement that Mouser Skip and any other possible skips that are waiting to be discovered, should ultimately be banned. That would put a stop to all of the drama and complaining about it and also keep the category protected. You have my vote, but hopefully the others will come to an agreement as well if they already haven't.

 
  KiruaKirua

Just giving a small outsider opinion (because I think the discussion is interesting): allowing the runs that used Mouser Skip in the past to remain in the LB -if you decide to ban it- wouldn't hurt imo, partially because the top runs already don't use it (so it's not like keeping runs with Mouser Skip would make it harder for the records to fall). Seems like a reasonable alternative to not be unfair to people who used it when it was allowed, while trying to maintain the "spirit" of the category (beating all the stages).

 
  bjwbjw

Discussion stopped here about 3 weeks ago and so far everyone participating seems to be in favor of the proposed change. I'll give this a few more days for anyone else to come out of lurking, otherwise I'll write in new rules for the leaderboard.

 
  AndrewGAndrewG

A little late to the party on this discussion, but I thought I'd chime in. While helping TAS Mario 2, Aglar and I came across the Mouser skip and I personally did some testing to see whether it would save time in the end (it did not). There was some discussion among other SMB2 TASers on this topic and the consensus was that it shouldn't count as "all levels" if the Mouser skip was going to be used. It didn't matter in the end because it was very slightly slower, but this was a thought given how close the routes were time-wise.

Ultimately, I think it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to track something as "all levels" when you're warping from one stage to another (seamlessly, but still). In the case of the other "wrong warps," it's in-stage and I think should be viable. The problem I see if simply that with the Mouser skip, all levels aren't actually being completed, although 1-2 is visited, 1-2 is bypassed.

 
  bjwbjw

I just formally added the line "Warp vases and Mouser skip are banned." to the NES All Levels rule set. Runs already on the LB with Mouser skip will be grandfathered in.

I meant to add this ages ago but I guess I forgot..

 
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