Wow, my above message is so messed up. My bad. Let's try that again.
Weren't many of the refs not friends with one another? If a person is an expert on a system, who else are you supposed to send it to then if you are friends? If I am the expert on a system and we are best friends, it's still my job to make sure the run is good. It's only collusion if you "said" you did this score, and I just simply put it into the database with out doing my job of watching the evidence package. How are you going to prove that is what in fact happened?
There are lots of ways a score could be colluded on. Still need the proof it happened.
Also there is no definitive evidence in the dispute claim thread that even if they verified their own scores, that this score in particular was verified by them.
So in order for there to be an actual issue from this angle that proves this specific score's invalidity, here's what would have to be definitively proven:
1.) Metroid team verified their own scores.
2.) They were not allowed to verify their own scores.
3.) This score was specifically verified by them.
If all three items were proven objectively and definitively true then the score could be immediately removed on that basis alone.
This removal would be on the basis that the score was not officially authorized to go into the database. It would not be on the basis of the content of the performance. A score, legit or not, can not be put into the database without proper authorization.
All scores put into the database under the above scenario would be removed.
Okay, let me try and make this a little clearer. I used the word "optimized route" so let me define that. The end of TSA's route and nearly all current speedrun's end the same way. It involves using the warp whistle and blowing it a specified number of times (usually only once) to reach level 1. Then walk east 1 screen. north 1 screen, west 1 screen, north 2 screens (traversing the blue ladder in the process), and then left 2 screens and end with finally bombing into the leftmost rock formation. With that said the 4 cases that were described by Starcrytas and I all respresent non-optimal methods of entering 9 all of which would accompany a major time loss. If you get some time Jace, go back to post #57 by @Tompa and click on TSA's run. Go to 28:04 in that run. At that point Link faces NORTH, blows the whistle once and that takes Link to level 1. By knowing how the whistle works this should have actually taken him to level 3 based on what had been done previously in the run. However, the reason this is not occurring is because at least 1 previous attempt at going to 9 was made but failed. You don't see this in the attempt because this footage would have been edited out most likely using common video editing editing software of the time in order to mask this from the general public and those verifying this run at the time. So, what you are seeing is him following the optimized route I defined above which produces the same spawns seen in the disputed submission. He does lose time by stopping to kill a few enemies along the way, most likely looking for a bomb drop, but at no point does he enter the cave and leave, backtrack out of 9 and back down the ladder, use up+A inside of 9, or use "save" at any point. These would all be "non-optimal" ways to produce the enemies in those positions which represent the 4 ways that Starcrytas and I brought to the dispute.
Also, I want to refer back to post #117 made by @fcoughlin . In that post he describes the "bottleneck" effect that traversing the ladder will have on the enemy spawns in level 9. If you only cross that ladder once then due to terrain issues and the generally narrow path to level 9 you will only get 1 particular spawn pattern, which is seen in every speedrun following an optimal path except for TSA and the submission in question. If you were to traverse the ladder a second time then the spawns will "bottleneck" again and this time there will be a new pattern which would match what is seen in the video footage for both TSA and the disputed submission. This is how you know that there is at least 1 splice in TSA's video since his video footage only shows him traversing the ladder ONCE. So, with that said, if TSA's run shows those spawns using an "optimal" path and the only way for those spawns to occur using said "optimal path" is to use a splice prior to level 9 then I think that implicitly proves that there must be at least 1 splice in the disputed submission. There is no other run on the internet that I have found following an optimal route that has the same spawns as TSA and the submission in question. And yes, in the ridiculous, ludicrous event that this case would actually be taken to court following TG's decision I think this evidence would be good enough to stand up in a court of law.
As for the rest of the events and posts of today, it seems that there is a question as to who verified the run. It seems to boil down to whether RTM ever saw the run or if it was verified by the Metroid team. Right now the evidence, as Jace noted, is subjective as to who actually verified it but could later become objective if more evidence is found. It does not appear to have gone through the triple verification process though, which was standard for other zelda runs at the time. No matter who saw it, it would have been difficult or near impossible for that particular person to have detected a splice unless they had intricate knowledge of the game and/or were specifically looking for it. It's important to note TSA's run sat on SDA's site fully transparent for nearly 6 years probably being viewed by thousands before anyone brought any evidence against it. As far as the question of emulators I have experience using some emulators in the 2003-2005 era. The 3 most prominent at that time would have have been Nesticle, Famtasia, and then early versions of FCEU which came out in late 2004-early 2005. Famtasia was actually used in some of the early tool-assisted runs for this game. It's been a pretty common practice going back at least that long for speedrunners to use emulators for practicing certain difficult areas of games, routing strategies etc. So, it would not be uncommon for the player in question to do this. However, to prove any foul play as Ninglendo alluded to, there would have to be proof that the 35:xx time he is referring to was actually entered into the database. From what it looks like to me it appears that there is a discussion over whether something like this would be allowed but no confirmation of it. The player in question may have even submitted it but there is no confirmation as to whether it was verified. In RTM's defense many people did not understand the capabilities of emulators back in 2003 since they were in their infancy back then so maybe RTM wanted to take a closer look at the submission and then concur with the other refs on whether something like an emulated run should ever be allowed. Once again there is no proof the run was actually verified, just a discussion around it.
I can say pretty confidently that the "final moments" video and the disputed submission does not appear to be from an emulator from that time. Famtasia had slightly different sound effects for ROM's as compared to cartridge versions of the same game. You can see this for yourself by watching any of the TASes done for this game prior to 2005. These sound effects are not heard in the "final moments" video. In the case of Nesticle and early versions of FCEU the color palette was slightly different than on the original cartridges. The colors were much more vibrant and bold. In the case of this disputed submission what appears in the "final moments" is very dark and shadowy by contrast which would be indicative of a play back of a VCR recording while using very primitive recording equipment to capture it. Thank you for reading.
After reading Jace's comments I have to ask myself if it would be easier to find somebody guilty of murder than guilty of submitting a fake score.
I mean no offense to Jace of course, and I dont' think he will be offended by my opinion.
Is the burden of proof in this dispute the same level as in a criminal court or civil court? Do we need to prove beyond all shadows of a doubt that this score was submitted in a fraudulent manner?
I don't think so. This is not a criminal matter. This is a civil matter.
We have had multiple expert witness provide their testimony on the permanent record stating that this submission is fraudulent and should be removed from the database.
We have clear footage that indicates the level 9 outcome is not possible without video splicing.
We have the defendant claiming to have video proof of his innocence but it unwilling to upload said video for our analysis (which to any reasonable jury member would indicate the witness has something to hide).
We have testimony from former TG referee that Team Metroid verified their own scores. We have another Referee that is refusing to answer questions about who validated the score (possibly due to possible backlash from the community for making a mistake).
We have the defendant refusing to testify in this dispute. Nobody is stepping forward to defend this submission. There are no alternate theories being provided, no teams of experts examining the video to see if it is somehow possible to have been generated by a non-standard ROM, etc. Nothing.
Multiple communities have been complaining about this score for years.
Nobody believes this submission is legit. The one person that claims it is legit won't even defend it. This is not a criminal case. This is not a civil case. This is a score board discussing removing an obvious cheated submission.
A jury of peers would find this submission fraudulent. Why won't the judge?
How I see this dispute now.
people are complaining about elsewhere it is not something that would work well in a lawsuit defense that TG has to potentially later construct to support its decision in court.
To understand the dispute process better, one may want to consider looking at it from a more scientific type of approach that tries to head toward absolute answers of truth-in-fact, not a jury-courtroom type of approach.