Long post incoming - tl;dr the PAL in-game timer acts weird, it's both good and bad, and I'm spending way too much brain power on differences of less than half a second
While verifying Winter_Doggo's recent minigame runs, I noticed that the in-game timer seemed to run slower than real time, as if the PAL version hadn't been adjusted to ensure that minigames still measured real time despite the expected gameplay slowdown.
I was right about it being slower - upon inspection using video tools, it indeed seems like IGT on PAL runs slower at more-or-less the same rate that is expected of PAL gameplay vs NTSC (roughly 5/6 slower).
This is good for PAL players because it means that PAL's slower gameplay speed isn't punished by the in-game timer, allowing PAL and NTSC players to compete evenly for IGT categories (though I suppose one could argue PAL gets a slight advantage via having more time to react, but that's getting too pedantic IMO).
I was wrong, though, that it hadn't been adjusted at all. It appears that on PAL (PS2 and Wii), the centisecond portion of the timer inexplicably rolls over twice per in-game second and thus... doesn't actually measure centiseconds. NTSC versions (PS2 and Wii both, again) measure proper centiseconds as expected.
This behavior creates a minor hassle for PAL IGT runners in that the actual run time will be faster or slower than what the timer shows at face value depending on whether the centisecond portion is on its first or second roll. If my math's right, it means that centisecond values from the first roll should be divided by 2, and centisecond values from the second half should be divided by 2, and then 0.5 seconds should be added on top of that.
For example, the .22 in Winter_Doggo's 0:29.22 on the Bumpy Road Sled Race occurred on the first centisecond roll, so it's really a 0:29.11 (0.22/2 = 0.11). But the .72 in Winter_Doggo's 1:53.72 on the Advanced Racing course occurred on the second centisecond roll, making it a 1:53.86 ([0.72/2] + 0.5 = 0.86).
I'm no math whiz, so my calculations may be quite wrong. I'll take the time to make sure before updating the existing run times. Regardless, no difference should exceed half a second, and NTSC players need not worry about any of this to begin with.
As always, I welcome any insight on the topic!
I'd like to return to this topic since I'm doing IL runs again. The PAL timer recognises a high 1st roll as better than a low 2nd roll. I just completed a Beach run with an IGT of 47.60 - immediately after, I did a run with a displayed time of 47.70. However, the game updated my best time to the 47.70. Inspecting both runs shows that the 47.60 was on the 2nd roll and the 47.70 was on the 1st roll, so the 47.70 really was faster instead of 10 centiseconds slower.
I do think this'll need returning to because I have a run on lake that, using the displayed time, is more than half a second faster than current WR instead of the around 10 centiseconds it really is (if we're going by your calculations). Your maths does, at least, seem to be more accurate, and if we find out it's wrong then we can always update things again.
I might be misreading (or have mistyped!) something somewhere - a first roll 47.70 being faster than a second roll 47.60 is in line with my calculations:
Second roll 47.60 -> [(0.60/2) + 0.5] = 0.80 -> 47.80 First roll 47.70 -> (0.70/2) = 0.35 -> 47.35
So that behavior is somewhat expected; it's good to know that the game acknowledges it internally as opposed to how it's displayed externally.
I apologize that this has peculiarity has held up some of your IL runs - knowing that the game acknowledges the "correct" time internally in a way that is consistent with my calculations gives me confidence that those calculations are accurate enough to verify runs with until we discover more.
Yeah, I think I understood the first time - it's not unexpected that the game knows a first roll is faster than a second roll, but I did wonder if there was a chance that the game would see a "faster" 2nd roll and decide that was better anyway because the number is lower. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be the case.
And that's fine! I figured that by asking about this, I'd probably be verified slower while you guys figured things out, but on the other hand I'd feel a lot worse if any of my runs ever became overly difficult to beat (or even impossible) just because of this kind of bug/oversight. In my opinion the wait was worth it ^^