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homerwannabee
01-29-2018 at 07:55 AM
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My quasi defense of Tom Duncan and his records

I noticed that RTM had posted how Tom Duncan got a ton of records. He was wondering how that was possible. I'll tell you how. A vast majority of Tom Duncan's records are inaugural records. He has the only score on a vast majority of these games. Just go through his records, and you'll see that it's plain as day what he did. He bought a whole bunch of PAL version games. Games that no one had submitted a score, and just threw up a score. Basically many of these games it appears he only played once, or a few times at most.
Basically he was spamming TG with garbage scores just so that he could say he had a ton of records. People are doing the same thing today with these Android phone records.
Many of his scores are not impossible scores. In fact many are not hard to beat. The only difficulty is actually acquiring the games.
So in my mind Tom Duncan is legit.
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  1. datagod's Avatar
    Did Tom record the scores and send them to another referee for verification? Who verified the scores? Who entered the in the database?
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  2. Blackflag82's Avatar
    I think you are likely right with Tom's scores. I think the real question folks have is whether he recorded everything or just played some and then sent the scores to another ref who entered them. Which of course then begs the question of whether he played all the games or just submitted scores. Take Jack Nicklaus Golf for gameboy as an example:

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/jack-nic...game-boy-color

    Did he record gameplay of all 12 courses (3-4 hours of play excluding practice time) and send those to a ref to verify or is it more likely he spent 30-60 minutes getting a feel for the game, wrote down a bunch of first place scores that were believable and sent them to a ref friend? given some of the other accounts of score entering (Hec brought up a good one about gameboy Track and Field in which the entering of the scores was too close together to not be without suspicion).

    My guess is the above scenario (playing the game long enough to get a feel for it and then submitting an unrecorded score for what he thought he could do on the various tracks) is the most likely occurrence. Though it can't be proven. And ultimately, I have yet to see one of his scores that is not beatable, so I say just beat all his scores one at a time.

    I'm working on all his gameboy scores at the moment. (While also working on a lot of other games I'm interested in)
  3. Intellivision Master's Avatar
    When I joined TG, I noticed that Tom Duncan has many "high" scores on the Intellivision console.

    I never said a peep about his scores.

    The reason being: I found his scores to be 'humanly possible'..... 'within the realm of possible'.

    Since I joined TG in April of 2017, I have been vocal about Ron's scores and Todd's scores on the Intellivision Console (approximately 15 titles) - that were in my opinion "NOT" within the realm of possible scores.

    Just adding my two cents.
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  4. Barthax's Avatar
    Many of the congratulatory threads on Tom's submissions are available on the forums still: https://www.google.com/search?q=site...%2F+tom+duncan
    Updated 01-29-2018 at 08:36 AM by Barthax
  5. danman1234's Avatar
    My concern is the TIME required to not only get the score but record the score, send it to a ref, have it verified and entered into the database. Plus he has scores on titles that only have like 5 carts known to exist IIRC (not 100% on this but swear I read it in a former thread here)? It doesnt pass the smell test to me but just my opinion.
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    Updated 01-29-2018 at 09:30 AM by danman1234
  6. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by danman1234
    My concern is the TIME required to not only get the score but record the score, send it to a ref, have it verified and entered into the database. Plus he has scores on titles that only have like 5 carts known to exist IIRC (not 100% on this but swear I read it in a former thread here)? It doesnt pass the smell test.
    I answered that on a thread that was created recently about the same subject (created by yourself?). Tom's job gave the means and the time, expos gave the access to rare games.
  7. gavv's Avatar
    I 'competed' with him on a number of titles across a number of consoles. A lot of them went back and forth a few times (some CV and Inty titles, game boy golf and other games, etc). Nothing seemed untoward or unusual. Many games sure would be initial scores. I put up many initial scores to try and spur interest in games I like (Apple ii games, misc burgertime versions etc), or tried to put up '2nd' scores on a game I probably had no chance of getting u p to #1 on, to help fill out the board. It's where I think the esi has been a neat addition that takes that into account

    Gavv
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  8. Snowflake's Avatar
    I definitly thought it was sleazy that TG would refuse to track certain popular games many wanted to compete on, but then allow refs to create tracks for games noone cared about just to help a ref inflate score count.

    But as sleazy as that is, its not lying or cheating. Also, hate the game, not the player. The bogus track creation rules of the day arent all on him, and even if they were, like i say, sleazy not cheating.

    So while I'll roll my eyes, "frown upon" and whatever other phrase there is for that sort of thing, as far as I can tell, he really did earn the scores he entered.
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  9. danman1234's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    I answered that on a thread that was created recently about the same subject (created by yourself?). Tom's job gave the means and the time, expos gave the access to rare games.
    Yeah i know you did and I dont buy what you claimed. The fact that Hector has stated he would beat his scores within MINUTES of him submitting records is enough for me to doubt them. I doubt way more about the past then i should so whatever. To the future....
    Updated 01-29-2018 at 09:47 AM by danman1234
  10. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by danman1234
    The fact that Hector has stated he would beat his scores within MINUTES of him submitting records is enough for me to doubt them.
    I don't understand this bit, could you point me to the original?
  11. Desidious's Avatar
    I've been coming to the conclusion he is legit. His Burnout scores are great but doable. I only question his ESI fluffer, Tee Jester.
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  12. starcrytas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by danman1234
    My concern is the TIME required to not only get the score but record the score, send it to a ref, have it verified and entered into the database. Plus he has scores on titles that only have like 5 carts known to exist IIRC (not 100% on this but swear I read it in a former thread here)? It doesnt pass the smell test to me but just my opinion.
    Here is the topic on the rare game for the ColecoVision with Tom Duncan's score.

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/showthre...-Score-117-000
  13. starcrytas's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    I don't understand this bit, could you point me to the original?
    @Fly makes that comment here:

    https://www.twingalaxies.com/entry.ph...page2#comments
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  14. starcrytas's Avatar
    The things I really question about Tom Duncan's scores is his button mashing and the rare games.
    His Decathlon (Atari 2600) scores require really fast hands to achieve. Same for his Game Boy Track & Field scores.
    The rare games have some reason to be there. How and why are there tracks when only 5 copies were made?
    Solve that, and that'll be enough for me to believe his scores.

    Also, the rumors of Tom Duncan and Troy Whelan entering scores for each other and the self entering needs some proof to back up. Even if RTM did mention that scores were self entered by referees, doesn't mean Tom did.
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  15. danman1234's Avatar
    Well yeah i read those "announcements" and everyone i read was from Troy Whelan and now you say there are rumors of them entering scores for each other or themselves? I didnt see that but regardless its not the times/scores that concern me its the volume. I cant fathom someone getting 10 records a day for like 1.5 years but that is just me. The fact that RTM already mentioned scores were self entered means it was possible does it not? I know Rudy was very vocal about this as well.
  16. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by starcrytas
    Thanks for the link Matthew. I understand the context now and there were whiffs of scores being submitted but held back until someone else surpassed another score. :(
  17. Barthax's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by starcrytas
    The rare games have some reason to be there. How and why are there tracks when only 5 copies were made?
    Solve that, and that'll be enough for me to believe his scores.
    I've answered the possibility on the Dispute thread (you linked to it above, thanks).
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  18. Marcade's Avatar
    From my past experience, sending in to him, id say 50% of all my VHS tapes to Tom Duncan, and at times, "competing against me in good will and sportsmanship" (I didnt mind, I encouraged it), Tom was LEGIT. (unless proven otherwise ) Troy Whelen and him verified each others submissions back and forth. He was honest and stand up as well.

    I see plenty of new Angry Bird submissions every single day! This was like Tom BITD.. (yes, mostly with Golf games). He was a full time work horse at TG during his tenure. Did he leave TG in bad terms? You bet ya! Although there are always two sides to any story or debate. He had his reasons.
    LikesBarthax, gavv, MyOwnWorstEnemy, Rev John liked this post
    Updated 01-29-2018 at 02:48 PM by Marcade
  19. Intellivision Master's Avatar
    And Gavv explained that gamers shared rare carts. That does explain a lot!!

    I did a quick search on Tom's play on rare Intellivision games. He does have many scores on super-rare carts ... and they're all bunched from 2006 and 2007.

    If Intellivision players traded rare carts together, that would make perfect sense.

    I always wondered where those guys got a hold of those super-rare carts (much less how they even knew those games existed before the ROM's and the Intellivision Flash-Cart was even available) !!

    It makes sense now.
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  20. MyOwnWorstEnemy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Barthax
    Thanks for the link Matthew. I understand the context now and there were whiffs of scores being submitted but held back until someone else surpassed another score. :(
    I had a similar experience as Fly described back in 2008-2010. I'd send out score for games nobody submitted to in years, wait about a month before my score / time was 'officially' acknowledged on the scoreboard, only to find out Tom reclaimed the score either a day before or after my own score was acknowledged. This seemed ridiculous and 'fishy' to me too. Not enough for me to question the score/times themselves, but enough for me to question the fairness of the referee / adjudication process.

    The way the scores were submitted back in that iteration of TG was to enter the score via an online entry form, print the form, and send along with the vhs tape / cd / dvd to the platform referee. I think what may have happened is that the referees had access to see submission pending queue that originated from the online submission form data entry. This queue was not available for public viewing. Being a referee and a competitor, its not to much of a leap to imagine that someone with the means and motive to 'take back' a record from a 'pending' referee review submission, long before the score was known by the general public. Mix that with some either intentional or coincidental gamesmanship with referee adjudication queues, you get the perception of peculiar and lopsided back-and-forth struggles with competing with a referee. Basically, a non referee would submit and wait 6 weeks for their scores to be posted on the leaderboard, only to be surpassed less than 24 hours by a referee. The submitter than goes about reclaiming the score and resubmits, waits another 6 weeks, only to have the same thing happen again by a competing referee.

    I have never seen the pending submission queue but based on the process and my own personal experience with the old iterations of the scoreboard, I suspect that the referees had the opportunity to get a jump on reclaiming scores that was not available to the general community. None of this means scores submitted by referees were invalid but they definitely had a submission advantage that could appear as unfair, especially if the referee was hyper competitive and hawkish on the pending queue list.
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