Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels Forum  /  Decision regarding lekukie's submission

Many of you may already know that, on May 4th 2020, LeKukie submitted an Any% 8-4 time of 7:56.515, claiming a world record when set. After a week of intense deliberation and meticulous analysis, the moderation team has decided to reject the submission on the basis of insufficient proof of legitimacy from a runner with a history of cheating in other games.

On the other hand, we are not saying that the run definitely was illegitimate - we do not have undeniable proof one way or another. Therefore, no punishment is applied. We did outline strict guidelines for LeKukie's future submissions, which can be found in the complete document linked below. Furthermore, this run could potentially be reinstated in the future if clear evidence came into light.

It is important to note that due to LeKukie's console running at a non-standard framerate estimated at 60.032, the official time of this run is 7:57.046, making the run ineligible for a world record even if accepted.

We don't typically make a forum post for an individual decision, but because of the nature of this run, we felt it was appropriate to share all the details of our decision. You can find the complete and thorough explanation of our decision here:

GMPGMP, xXJulianbrito_YTXx3xXJulianbrito_YTXx3 and 24 others like this. 
(edited: )

I'mma add some information that I figured out in the time being and it's actually going to be helpful for my future submissions.

Regarding on the slower framerate issue, I found out why that happens:

"It has already been proven by many users that there is a big difference in the color issue of the national NES (PAL-M) compared to the American NES (NTSC). In the American NES the colors are much more vivid than the national one where the colors are strange and dead. But why does this happen? A: Because in the Brazilian NES, transcoding was carried out using an OffBoard board connected outside the motherboard of the console, it was said to be "poorly designed", and in addition some electrical tracks were broken and the NTSC 21.48 Mhz oscillator crystal (3.579545 MHz) was changed. ) replacing the Cristal PAL-M with 21.45mhz (3.575611 Mhz) frequency. All this modification slows down the performance of color processing causing dissatisfaction for some demanding users."

What that means is that the Licensed Brazilian company that sold NESes here pretty much had to adapt the console to the Brazilian color standard, and the way they did it involved changing the Oscillator Crystal from the one that is used on NTSC NESes, to a little slower one for technical purposes.
That means that can be reverted by just removing the PAL M board and swapping the crystal with the original NTSC one, which will both make the console run at the right speed, and run on NTSC.

And that has a really good outcome: I'll be able to use my capture card to record the game footage, and so, I'll be able to use my cellphone as a handcam so then I can meet the requirements mentioned on the document about this whole situation. I'll have to talk with the moderators about the power and reset buttons being on the stream and I'll try to make them visible if possible.

"But, why couldn't you use you capcard before?"

If I used it on my NES, this would happen:

All because my capture card doesn't like PAL M devices. The same issue happens with my Sega Master System.
I can use it but only if I play on an NTSC console. I have SMB3 runs submitted with it and they were done on my PS2 (with an emulator, bc back then that was my only way of playing NES games) which is NTSC.

And also I 100% understand the moderators decision on the verification of the run, and in my opinion it's the best decision they could make at this moment, so then we can avoid future misinterpretation and issues about this whole subject.

Addition 1: "Broken Frames"

As mentioned on the document, you can see that there is a frame where a part of the title screen is still on the screen, and the other one is almost 100% blue. Similar effect happened on 4-4, where the top part of the screen is still a black screen, and the bottom part is the level appearing.

I'm not entirely sure of the exact answer of why that happens, but I have an explanation that approximates to what really happens.
First, the scanline effect can indeed happen from bottom to top, and top to bottom. It just depends on the frequency of the CRT and the camera's shutter speed. I'm not sure the order of the effect (if it is from top to bottom or bottom to top), but I know the possible causes.
On streamlabs mobile, you can go to camera enhance, and then tap on "Antibanding". I choose the 60Hz option since it's the best for my console. It gets rid of the scanline effect but artifacts like the broken frames can be seen. The camera shutter ends up picking the light that comes from the CRT at the middle of its frames, making it look like the frames are broken into pieces.
The way I set up my cellphone is by rotating it 90° to the left, and there's a good reason for that. If I rotate it 90° to the right, the effect looks even worse, maybe splitting the frames into 3 or more parts because of the way the camera's rolling shutter captures the light.

Validusername asked me about my setup and he tried to reproduce the effect, here are his results:

That is an effect that happens with every CRT TV and camera, it just depends on the way both the CRT displays frames, and the way the camera's shutter captures light.

I might add more infos about this in the future if I need to, but for now this is what I can say.

eliteraven82eliteraven82, NolmyNolmy and 9 others like this.