cleartonic Jan 26th, 2017 (edited) 408 Never
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- A user by the name of "usagi" was a well known and reputable top 10 DQIII runner for many years. He played DQVI just as competitively as well, and frequently was in the "Ekiden" relay series, which is recurring DQ relay that the nico community puts together. He was a respected community member. He streamed on Nico & Twitch fairly often.
- Quick timeline of WR status for DQIII:
- 2:39:35: Maru - from ~early 2014 to early 2016
- 2:39:10: Morizot - from early 2016 to Oct 2016
- 2:38:31: Morizot - Oct 2016 to current
- On 11/26/2016, usagi claimed to achieve a 2:38:59. He provided a video, wrote a report (common Japanese practice for fast times) (http://ch.nicovideo.jp/2usagi767676/blomaga/ar1145682) and provided splits. This time was the #2 time, so it beat Maru's (who is regarded as one of the best DQRTA members in history) fastest time, and also Morizot's previous best before his current WR.
- Just a side note, as I've discussed before, any of these top times are figuratively insane. They're so fast beyond regular speed comprehension. The amount of things that need to go right & for the runner to have the stones make it happen when it's all on the line is simply incredible.
- Maru, and a confidant of his named Mugensai, take DQRTA very seriously. Upon analyzing usagi's video, likely for strategies & run evaluation as most runners do, he identified a discrepancy.
- The above link is part 1 of 3 of usagi's PB video. At the 35:11 mark (on the timer), the walk between counters (on the way to the purple Hunter Fly battle) occurred in the mountains. The encounter rate is very high there, and this area of the game has a high encounter rate as it is.
- Briefly, I'll describe how encounters work in this game. A random value is set when you enter an area or leave a battle, which is a range between some numbers (just think of it as like, from 30 - 80). Every step you take will decrease that value, when it hits zero, you get into a fight. Some terrains cause that value to decrease faster than others.
- Usagi, in his PB video, takes one more step than what is actually possible for that encounter area. The game cannot generate a high enough starting encounter value for you to possibly walk that many steps through the mountains at that part of the world map.
- Usagi was accused of modifying his DQIII ROM to change the way encounters draw to influence his overall encounter rate. Many Japanese community members chimed in to Maru and Mugensai's claims to verify their validity. Further, they were able to apply the same logic to one of Usagi's past DQVI PB videos (I don't know the specifics about this one).
- Usagi deleted his nico, Twitch, and all of his times have been removed from the leaderboards.
- I spoke to RAI (who, if you don't know, is a Japanese speedgod, who held the DQVI record for a very long time and has strong times in many other games, including DQIII), who was nice enough to share this information with me. He curtly told me that most of the Japanese community was (in his words) 'disgusted' with what happened. He also expressed they felt sad afterwards.
- The speedrun community has had its fair share of cheaters. Every instance of a cheated run hits home & makes you wonder why people act they way they do. For usagi, it's not really clear. He cheated a #2 time, and lost his entire speedrun career because of it. There are likely cultural implications that I can't comprehend.
- Personally, I find it both fascinating and unsettling. (Before I make this next point, please don't jump to conclusions about what I support / don't support, every console/game/community case is unique). We live in an age where we've abandoned the old SDA methods of requiring original consoles only, and are generally much more open to emulators and flash carts. With this flexibility comes danger. With the incredible romhacking powers that exist out there, such as save/load-state hacks, or just engineering completely new games based off an original engine, is it really that crazy to think that someone could very subtly modify a ROM cart? To me, not at all.
- Would you notice in Mega Man 2 if Heat Man no longer evenly distributed 30/60/90 frame teleports, and it skewed more towards the 30?
- Would you notice in A Link to the Past if Agahnim gave you blue balls ~20% less of the time?
- Would you notice in Super Metroid if Super Missile drops were slightly more common?
- Would you notice in Donkey Kong Country 2 if Krow cooperated just a bit more often?
- What if usagi got away with his cheated ROM file and built up a story to easily claim the veritable DQIII WR one day?
- A lot of what this community runs on is the honor system. But perhaps we should take some time to think about what we could do to avoid this problem as the community grows.
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