Dispute: John McAllister - Arcade - Paperboy - Points [Grand Slam Score] - Player: Phil Britt - Score: 1,136,435

Is this a valid dispute?

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  1. 05-05-2018, 11:55 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by starcrytas View Post
    The highest scores of all 3 streets combining TG and MARP
    Easy - 185,645
    Middle - 262,788
    Hard - 430,925
    Total of the highest confirmed scores - 879,358

    RTM REPLY - thanks for collating the info for analysis purposes.

    Easy - 185,645 - Phil claimed mid-100K range
    Middle - 262,788 - Phil claimed 300K-range
    Hard - 430,925 - Phil claimed 600K-range

    Clearly the "easy" claim was do-able, and by "claim" I am referring to what Phil told Walter and I via phone call 14+ years ago.

    "Middle" is at minimum a bit more than what is currently do-able...not much, but enough even if ONLY 300K was achieved, and Chris said "300K-range" which implies even higher.

    "Hard" is the major red flag...430K vs "600K-range", meaning nearly 40-50% higher than what the best players have accomplished that was verified. This is the source of the biggest disparity thus requiring the biggest counter-explanation from the original gamer. Unless a MAJOR undiscovered tactic was used by Phil, possibly even more than one major undiscovered tactic, then we have a problem.

    The other possibility, objectively speaking, is that Phil had a way to exploit a known tactic to maximum potential far beyond what others have to date.

    There is only one other possibility that accounts for the wide disparity in actual vs claimed scores...the 1M+ "grand slam" benefitted from illegal point-acquisition tactics on "Hard Street" plus, potentially, from "Medium Street" as well.
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  2. 09-21-2018, 08:28 PM
    No way this score is legit. Way better than second place.
  3. 12-05-2018, 08:05 AM
    After reading all the modern-era empirical evidence and comparing to what I personally heard from Phil over a decade ago, I am now 100% convinced that the 1M+ "Grand Slam" score dispute is valid thus I have cast my vote accordingly.

    In the unlikely event that Phil can weigh in on this discussion and provide some clarity, especially how his scoring estimates for the Middle and Hard Roads are quite literally 50% higher than that of today's best experts at the title and what multiple gamers have reasonably achieved on both arcade and MAME, there seems to be no valid argument which would support that score.

    The likelihood that one or more illegal tactics (other than the "Grandstand Trick") were used seems more and more plausible on both the Middle and Hard Roads.

    The other open and undetermined issue is whether anyone had actually witnessed this set of performances...and it IS a set since it is the composite of at least three scores as the possibility of same-initial higher scores achieved throughout the gaming day could serve to bolster the aggregate total.
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  4. 05-30-2020, 07:28 PM
    Score has been reinstated and dispute has been reopened for further discussion and analysis based on questions raised in additional objective technical evidence discovery presented here:

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  5. 05-30-2020, 08:16 PM
    The score under dispute was achieved during the 1986 Video Game Masters Tournament, which ran from June 27-29, 1986. The VGMT began in 1983 as an official TG-organized tournament held at locations across North America, and was the largest annual tournament overseen by TG. For each tournament, an Official Game Manual was published to manage the event across multiple sites. According to the leaderboard, this score was achieved on the last day of the tournament (June 29).

    According to the 1986 VGMT manual that established the rules for tournament play, the "threshold score" that gamers like Phil had to beat to qualify for publication in the forthcoming Guinness World Book of Records was 1,002,018. In fact, this threshold score was actually achieved by Phil during the 1985 Video Game Masters Tournament, so he was in essence the incumbent.

    I've included a screenshot of the rules for Paperboy. Note that there isn't any requirement that the player had to complete their Grand Slam within the same day. The only true requirement was that the Grand Slam be achieved before the conclusion of the three day tournament.

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    Since this score was achieved at an official, TG sanctioned tournament.

    Additional info compiled by Paul Dean is located here.


    For a copy of the 1986 VGMT manual, it can be downloaded from Donkey Kong Forum, but you have to be logged in to see the link:


    For more VGMT background:

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  6. 05-30-2020, 08:25 PM
    The one discrepancy I see between the rules for this track and the rules for the tournament concerns the difficulty settings: the VGMT indicates that the difficulty is to be set at medium; the current rules for this track cite that the difficulty must be medium hard.
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  7. 05-30-2020, 11:32 PM
    Just pointing something out here from the rules:

    "After discussion with former TG senior referee Ron Corcoran back in 2002, it was determined that the "Grand Slam" performance itself must be accomplished within the same game-day."

    is it possible that the rules were revisioned at some point since the tracks creation pre-1986?

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    aka Jacob Spring and Twin Galaxies Arcade World Record holder on Metal Slug Supervehicle-001
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  8. 05-31-2020, 02:25 AM
    A couple of things....

    The VGM rules for 1986 state the bonus life as "every 15k", however the original manual doesn't have this option. This was likely just mis-keyed when creating the VGM rules.

    The original manual states "medium hard" as the default difficulty. Where does this rank in the difficulty scale? In MAME its ranked as difficulty 3 between medium (2) and hard (4) which makes sense. If he played on easy (1) I don't think that would make a significant difference to scoring potential. VGM rules state medium (3) which should have been medium hard (3). Probably another typo by whoever typed up the rules. Can a Paperboy Pro detail exactly what changes when adjusting the difficulty settings?

    Default starting lives are listed as "4" and VGM/TG rules stipulate 3 lives to start. Again, may not make a massive different to overall score but in combination with the decreased difficulty, could it be enough?

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    Looks as though the TAS recording's here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2L2lPOf1YQdZsoZIwfmfAA/videos were done on the factory default of medium-hard so we can do some rough extrapolation and come up with approximate scores for each stage in Britt's 1985 and 1986 VGM scores:

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    (red indicates estimated scores)

    We could adjust these based on RTM's recollection of what Phil told him all those years ago but its hard to rely on that recollection's accuracy. @RTM did you post about this anywhere at the time? I'll go digging through old forums and see what I can find that may be a bit more reliable.

    Compare the above with the highest known scores and the TAS recordings:

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    Only the easy scores are comparable between the highest known and Britt's estimated score. Could be a case of modern-day players having played "easy street" much more than the other two.

    I think its important for some of the modern-day players to watch the TAS recordings and assess exactly how much of it is feasible for a human to perform.

    Now that we know the score is mathematically possible (not by a small margin either) and the player had actually performed another 1m+ Grand Slam score the year prior at the same live event, its authenticity is a lot more likely in my opinion. There's always the possibility some of the "tricks" outlined in the rules now weren't fully understood back then and could have slipped through (although RTM remembers Phil saying he never used any of those tricks). The discrepancies in the TG versus VGM rules are likely just typos. It's hard to believe the scores were performed in the same "game-day" but we have to take Phil's word for it. Even if they weren't the same day, they were the same weekend (2-3 days) so that's not a deal breaker for me.

    Anyway that ended up longer than anticipated with very little conclusion. All very interesting to look through though and I'm glad this was reopened for further investigation.
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  9. 05-31-2020, 02:45 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by spectre View Post
    Just pointing something out here from the rules:

    "After discussion with former TG senior referee Ron Corcoran back in 2002, it was determined that the "Grand Slam" performance itself must be accomplished within the same game-day."

    is it possible that the rules were revisioned at some point since the tracks creation pre-1986?

    It reads to me as though they decided on the rule in 2002 and it was only added later on at some point.
    RTM has stated in the past that Phil said he did it in one day. I think that's how the discussion about the rule started initially
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  10. 05-31-2020, 04:16 AM
    Thanks for catching the "every" discrepency!

    On the issue of difficulty and what #3 represents, I think we should read the rule at face value read it in reference to the VGMT manual only, and not whether it aligns with what #3 represents in MAME years later. Note how medium setting is the third on the list when reading the list from top to bottom in the arcade operator's manual. In that sense, for me reading "Difficulty #3 - Medium" is in reference to how it's expressed in the manual.

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    You previously noted that the "factory default" for starting lives in the operator's manual is 4 but the tournament uses 3. In that sense, tournament organizers already had to change the PCB settings from factory defaults, and in that vein I can't foresee a reason why they wouldn't also modify the difficulty setting to reflect the VGMT requirements of medium.

    In that sense, I'd also be interested in hearing from Paperboy players about the possibilities on scoring when a game is played on medium versus medium hard.
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