Well, the Twin Galaxies clown rodeo has been at it again.
Now, I know what many of you are going to say, but I'm definitely not writing this to encourage people to take Twin Galaxies seriously. This is so folks can have a good laugh, or at least get the gist of what went on without having to go to the site. Links are provided for attribution. Only follow the TG links if you doubt what I say is true. (Note: Most of what follows was from the dispute thread, and does not represent original research on my part.)
Admittedly, I did have some hopes Twin Galaxies might be turning around, following the infamous Dragster dispute. It was legendary how poorly that dispute was handled, with a clear cut case for removal of Todd Rogers' Dragster time firmly established on day one. And yet, if you recall, TG head custodian Jace Hall seemed content to argue endlessly with Omnigamer, the author of the Dragster analysis, over the fact that his Dragster simulation was not a comprehensive model of the entire universe, accounting for everything from hardware malfunctions to cosmic rays to, I don't know, fucking gnome wizards. Jace sought a burden of proof even higher than the highest criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", aiming for a target somewhere along the lines of total omniscience. This open-and-shut case went on for months, uncovering several other bogus scores of Todd's, as well as his fabrication of evidence and outright lies over the years. The dispute was eventually settled, not by the scientific certitude Jace Hall called for, but rather by the testimony of former TG ref Robert Mruczek. https://i.imgur.com/LcOMFL5.png
But I'd hoped TG administration were cognizant of how embarrassing that dispute was, and were committed to doing better in the future. Despite TG's many blemishes, they do have a lot of history, even if the legacy scoreboard needs a massive overhaul. And the Billy Mitchell Donkey Kong dispute, which I still say was handled impeccably, seemed to validate that hope, at least for a while. However, some subsequent disputes have gone back the way of Dragster again. This latest dispute... well, disputes
... against speedrun liar Rodrigo Lopes have taken TG dispute nonsense to a whole new level. Who is Rodrigo Lopes?
Rodrigo Lopes is a long-time speedrunner from Brazil with a lot of talk and very little video. His claimed records were not recognized by Speed Demos Archive (and thus are not recognized by speedrun historians today), not due to an outright ban or (before now) tangible proof of cheating, but because he refused to share the whole videos.
Rodrigo did make an SDA post in 2008,
claiming many significant speedrun world records, but only offering video of the last few moments of each run as proof. While not recognized in the speedrun community, Rodrigo does have a prolific history at Twin Galaxies (going by the username "Siliconian"), with 1,622 scores/times from the old referee era. Add in his 6,846 scores/times from the current "TGSAP" era (thousands of which are on various tracks on mobile games), and you have his current (as I write this) total of 8,468 scores at Twin Galaxies, giving him the most TG world records and the site's highest "Expert Skill Index" rating: https://i.imgur.com/1H6cnGn.png
Rodrigo was also a founder of Brazil's "Team Metroid", whatever that means, as well as (put on your shocked faces) a Twin Galaxies referee.
In 2006, Richard Ureta was recognized with a new TG world record on Legend of Zelda for NES, with a time of 32:02. Ureta's glory was short-lived, as Rodrigo quickly declared his intention to beat that time.
(Rodrigo's writing can be hard to read. It should be noted that English is not his first language.) Three weeks later, Rodrigo announced he had overtaken Richard
with a time of 31:36 (later re-timed to 31:37). As was standard practice at TG at the time, a physical tape was mailed to a TG referee to verify, and no copy of it was ever made public, although Rodrigo did upload the final dungeon to YouTube some time later.
(Bet he regrets that now!)
Earlier this summer, questions were raised about this 2006 "world record",
and why it didn't appear in Summoning Salt's world record progression video on Legend of Zelda
, as it was faster than both Ureta's run and the best publicly available run of that era by Tom Votava.
This led to a formal dispute of Rodrigo's record at TG,
in the hopes of collecting emerging evidence and discussion in one official place. Rodrigo claimed this dispute, initiated without clear evidence at the start, was proof that jealous haters were out to besmirch his good name. But of course, it didn't take long for hard evidence to emerge of cheater-ation: https://i.imgur.com/Y2LBsdu.png
On the left is the enemy spawn formation of the third room of level 9, taken from LackAttack's current world record. And on the right is the same room's spawn formation from Rodrigo's run. Every known speedrun of the game that takes a direct path from the last Triforce piece to level 9 has the proper spawn formation for that room as seen on the left, except for two outliers that have the formation seen on the right: Michael "TSA" Damiani,
and Rodrigo Lopes. One might be led to think the two have something in common
.... other than a little mutual disdain: https://i.imgur.com/uUgJb8n.png
Zelda experts chimed in on the TG dispute thread, explaining the underlying game mechanics governing these enemy spawn patterns. There are a few ways to get this irregular formation, such as leaving and re-entering level 9 or back-tracking a few overworld screens for no apparent reason, but each possibility would be inexplicable in a speedrun, resulting in a loss of time that would be strictly disqualifying for the final time Rodrigo claimed. The spawn pattern seen in Rodrigo's run simply couldn't happen following a straight route from the last Triforce to level 9. The most likely cause would have been using Up+A upon entering level 9, giving the player as many chances as they wanted for a flawless level 9 to splice together with their complete game up to that point.
So we have an old TG score, with no public video, from a player who as late as 2017 claimed to have a secret better route
that could get sub-30 (under TG's no-glitch rule set), but only if he gets lucky bomb drops. In other words, he claims outright mastery of the game while still not knowing that item drops in Legend of Zelda are now calculated,
and have been for years.
But none of that matters, because he still refuses to share the whole video of his run. Hold up. He still has the video?
Oh yeah, did I mention that? He told this to TG user Starcrytas in a PM: https://i.imgur.com/nky0EXr.png
Years ago, he mocked people who are afraid of showing off their record runs: https://i.imgur.com/wQbau8s.png
But now, when asked about whether the video could be made available
, it's always a variation of "Oh, it would be a pain to find," or "This is unfair," or "I don't take this that seriously, I just play games for fun," or "I don't have the time to do all that." Even though he does
have the time to keep submitting dozens and dozens of new scores on mobile games. Wait wait wait, he's still submitting scores!?
Yup! I mean, not right now, but he was submitting new scores right as this dispute against him was going on. When I started tracking on November 12th, he added 50 scores in four days, all of which went through the normal adjudication process. Basically every variation he could find on Angry Birds and Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia on Android. Gotta pad those TG ratings somehow, right? A whole new level of TG nonsense
What really sets this particular circus dispute apart from the others we've seen is Twin Galaxies' normally impossible-yet-predictable evidence standards went completely out the window. At times, it felt like Jace Hall was just making shit up on the fly.
On November 7, three months after the discrepancy of spawn formations had been noted, Jace Hall finally felt compelled to step in. As we discussed, Jace adheres to a dubiously high evidence standard for removal of a legacy score. Video of the crime in action? How do we know that video wasn't staged? Confession of the killer? How do we know it wasn't coerced? Rigorous scientific determination of a claimed run's impossibility? Sure, but did you factor in the human element? What if math is wrong? What if we're living in a computer simulation and none of this is real? Can you truly rule out robot warlocks from the future?
This time, Jace acknowledged that the evidence was both compelling enough to warrant action but not as "definitive" as is his preference, putting himself in a "unique" situation: https://i.imgur.com/cSEKbcn.png
Rather than do the reasonable thing and say "Let's remove this probably-cheater's scores until he can cough up some damn vids," Jace decided this stalemate would best be broken with a generous offer to the speedrun community: https://i.imgur.com/3S3ucse.png
Yes, you read that correctly. Jace called for no fewer than five notable Zelda speedrunners to sign statements affirming their belief both in the evidence against Rodrigo and in Twin Galaxies' competence. What exactly would a signed statement of opinion prove that the evidence itself did not?
Good question, bud! Either the evidence makes the case, or it doesn't, right?
Omnigamer, who has no shortage of experience dealing with Jace Hall, trashed him on Reddit
over this maneuver: https://i.imgur.com/M3wtocf.png
Before I continue, I should point out something I've noticed here. For years, Jace Hall has expressed, let's say an "emphasis" on getting players to provide and verify their real info at Twin Galaxies. We're talking real names, phone numbers, and actual physical addresses. See for instance the last thirty seconds of this Facebook livestream
from last year. Or this interview from 2014
(at the 2:15:13 mark). Jace says that TG doesn't sell peoples' info, and that this point of emphasis is because Guinness prefers to deal with real names. Okaaay... But what's odd to me is, he brings up this desire for your info even in contexts that have nothing whatsoever to do with submitting that info to Guinness, such as "We need you to give us your personal info before we can accept your testimony on this score dispute."
At any rate, nobody signed Jace's exact statement, but a few Zelda speedrunners did show up and offer their expertise in the dispute thread, including Fcoughlin and cantaloupeme (who was expressly curious why Twin Galaxies needed his address).
"Four Swords" runner Tompa contributed as well. A couple of people even ran "TG Rule Set"
as a new category on SRC, both getting a better time than Rodrigo (obviously with the correct level 9 spawn patterns). Half-measures
That silly offer to the speedrun community got even sillier just hours later, when Jace decided to amend his terms. Rather than offer a resolution where all of Rodrigo's scores would be wiped from the leaderboards (as one would tend to do with cheaters), Jace backpedaled and said, due to insufficient evidence, only Rodrigo's pre-TGSAP scores would be removed, and maybe the ban wouldn't be lifetime after all: https://i.imgur.com/tJ30WAA.png
"TGSAP", for those who don't know, stands for "Twin Galaxies Submission and Adjudication Process", the new community-based system for score/time verification which supplanted the old private referee system. Under TGSAP, full video is required, to the extent that even previously verified scores/times can be removed simply on the basis that the video has since disappeared from public view.
(Again, that's talking about scores/times submitted under TGSAP. Legacy scores are treated differently.) Honestly, it's a commendable standard for modern adjudication, but anyone who has looked into cheating in gaming/speedrunning knows that even full, permanent video hasn't stopped people from producing convincing cheats (not even under TGSAP specifically).
TGSAP doesn't require handcams, nor does it sufficiently account for things like macro use or ROM modification. TGSAP is good, but it's not perfect.
The idea that someone would be found to have cheated enough to warrant removal of mail-in scores, but not enough to warrant removal of online video scores, is baffling, not to mention arbitrary. Jace Hall didn't seem to balk at the prospect of stripping Billy Mitchell's scores in the face of the MAME evidence, and many other disputes are dispatched quietly and efficiently. But a special few of them drag on for months, with the phoniest of rebuttals being offered at times. As I said before, I would have liked to believe things had changed at TG, that things were moving in the right direction such that these decisions were being weighed with respect to the evidence and not TG admin's reluctance to remove a particular player's scores. But these maybe/maybe not half-measures make me wonder. Was TG's reluctance to strike all of Rodrigo's scores due to Rodrigo's extensive and continued participation on the site? Was it due to his high placement on their site-wide rankings? Was TG afraid of the embarrassment that would ensue if their top player was found to be a cheater? Or hell, is this nonsense all just another way of stirring up bullshit drama? The bogeyman
In attempting to defend his overabundance of caution (if you could even call it that), Jace Hall then delved into several references to potential legal action against TG which could result from score/time removals such as this: https://i.imgur.com/Zw07f1N.png https://i.imgur.com/1tdXPjw.png
First of all, as far as we know, nobody has actually sued the current Twin Galaxies over a score/time removal. Billy Mitchell has famously threatened
to sue over his scores getting wiped, but he hasn't actually followed through, and is unlikely to ever do so as his case is dead-on-arrival. Yes, in the U.S. you can technically sue anyone for anything (though I don't know how it works in Rodrigo's home country of Brazil), but no actual case can be made against a scoreboard simply de-listing a player's scores without comment. Twin Galaxies did literally that two years ago against notorious scumbag (and former TG ref) Ron Corcoran.
At best, this is a potentially operation-crippling level of over-caution, or at worst, this is Jace Hall using the specter of legal threat to justify a position which in actuality has more to do with some other unstated motivation.
But here's where it gets really ugly to me. Remember Jace's offer for five speedrunners to slap their real names down on the table and testify that they think Rodrigo's run is baloney? If he really truly does think this is a case with actual legal liability, what on Earth are we supposed to make of that "offer"? "Here, people who have nothing to do with this website, you put your names on this instead." He literally says their statements need to be strong enough to "move the needle toward resolution", with the stated concern being that TG could get sued. Is he trying to base Twin Galaxies' decision directly on other peoples' testimony such that TG can say "You can't sue us, we're just going by what was reported, you'll have to sue those other people instead for telling us you cheated"?
But honestly, I don't even think that's what's going on here. Jace talks about all of this so openly and freely. What does every lawyer tell you to do when faced with legal threats? "Keep your yap shut!!" No way did Jace consult with a lawyer on any of this, or at least if he did, no way is he actually taking that lawyer's advice. He's just a cowboy, shooting from the hip. He tells us what he wants, but he can't seem to be up front about why some disputes are so easy to settle while others can't be resolved even in the face of definitive proof. The Human Element
Speaking of the Dragster dispute, what contentious, drawn-out Twin Galaxies dispute wouldn't be complete without a suite of ancillary disputes, as investigators begin to notice that the main disputed record isn't the only fishy item on that player's score page? Rodrigo's time on Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
on GameCube has been questioned as potentially impossible. (Again, only the last few minutes are made public by Rodrigo.) There are also some alleged discrepancies with his time on Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past
But the real juicy stuff goes all the way back to our old friend, our old pal, the Atari 2600. No, we're not racing any dragsters or storming any barns or wascaling any wabbits this time. But we do have a Tasmanian Devil sighting! Recall that Todd Rogers in 2004 claimed an impossible (for multiple reasons) score on the Atari game Taz, complete with a photo of his television showing the impossible score.
Todd's defense at the time was that he was actually playing on a secret 1984 version of Taz which scores differently, a version which nobody to this day has ever found. (I will say that Rodrigo has not yet to my knowledge resorted to the "prototype defense".) That score was the subject of its own dispute
parallel to the Dragster dispute two years ago. Unlike Todd's claim, Rodrigo's score on Taz is actually possible in the sense that the game will technically allow it,
but it's still not possible in the sense that no human can consistently play on the insane speeds the game runs at past about 300,000 or so points.
Check out the console and emulator leaderboards for that game: https://i.imgur.com/4VMsP5A.png
Rodrigo managed the same super-human feat on Asterix,
which is basically the same game: https://i.imgur.com/ugzy0hE.png
Not quite as stark a contrast is Rodrigo's Asteroids score,
again on Atari 2600. The top console score is 79,660 points, while on the emulator leaderboard Rodrigo is rockin' 111,390: https://i.imgur.com/Q7jILnh.png https://i.imgur.com/uUFk6ZJ.png
In fact, each of these sketchy Atari scores of his are on emulator, rather than actual console. It turns out, it's a simple matter to slow down an Atari emulator during game play and then play it back at full speed,
creating the illusion of real-time play one might pass off on a trusting referee.
Another sketchy emulator score by Rodrigo is on "Alligator People". But this time, the score actually is just impossible,
ending in a 3 when scores can only end in a 5 or a 0. https://i.imgur.com/zs9y619.png
Hey, maybe we can just round the score down and call it good. Talk, talk, talk
But enough of actual scores and evidence. Let's get to the most indelible element of any lengthy Twin Galaxies dispute: Name-calling and petty bickering!
The question of how exactly Rodrigo's scores were verified was a topic of discussion. Rodrigo had 14 scores with "referee" listed as verification method (meaning, the score was verified live in-person), and with Rodrigo firmly in Brazil, there doesn't seem to be any way that could have happened unless he and his buddies in "Team Metroid" were verifying for each other. But insofar as Rodrigo did submit tapes to a TG ref who wasn't his teammate, he had a specific preference to submit those tapes exclusively to TG referee Robert Mruczek.
(It also appears that his competitor Richard Ureta "Sleepz" was subjected to no less than triple-verification
while Rodrigo skated through.)
I'm not going to get into the question of whether Mruczek was in on the scam, as opposed to merely being identified by the cheaters as a ref who trusts them. But just because I'm not going there doesn't mean others didn't. You can see much of this squabbling for yourself on the open thread, but I wanted to show off a couple "deleted scenes", if you will, captured as part of my screencapping.
First we have "RTM" (Robert Mruczek) popping off at [REMOVED BY ADMIN]. Who, might you ask, is [REMOVED BY ADMIN]? Thankfully, TG admin's redaction isn't very thorough, as the original version of RTM's quote was still up in a reply from Marcade, just a bit lower on that same page. That reply, as you see, later got the axe altogether: https://imgur.com/a/dCLvnCa
I mean, sure, it was petty and off-topic, but have you seen these TG dispute threads?
Marcade made another reference to Mruczek, which again got edited out. But this time, Jace addressed it specifically: https://imgur.com/a/G5oyriI
Back again with the "But somebody could sue" bit? Like, seriously, how was that any more slanderous and worthy of censorship than half of what goes on in those threads? Why were Marcade's comments about Mruczek so much worse than his remarks about Rodrigo in the same comment? Out of all the nonsense on that site, why was this the item Jace could not allow to stand?
Speaking of Jace, he ruffled some feathers when on page 21 he characterized witness testimony as mere "lips flapping"... https://i.imgur.com/bqhhBtt.png
...but wasn't Jace the one asking for that "lips flapping" testimony moments ago? Wasn't he directly saying such testimony was all he would need to wrap the dispute up? Also recall yet again
the infamous Dragster dispute, which dragged on for months in spite of verified and re-verified scientific evidence, only to come to an abrupt end (a month ahead of schedule)
on the basis of - oh, that's right - "lips flapping".
It was around this same time that Jace, over on his site blog, acknowledged "concerns" over Twin Galaxies' legacy scoreboard, while casually floating out a shocking proposal: https://i.imgur.com/WE7SCUS.png
Jace would later say in the comments that the proposal was scrapped due to negative feedback.
Meanwhile, back at the Rodrigo dispute, the official Twin Galaxies account offered the most - and I don't use the term lightly - cringe-inducing rebuttal to the ol' speedrunners' mantra: https://i.imgur.com/TlKevl4.png
Later, in the same comment, TG again invoked the dread threat of legal action: https://i.imgur.com/qVv3tP3.png
Lastly, TG offered a weak explanation of why they would remove only some of Rodrigo's scores: https://i.imgur.com/VqCG0iH.png
Again, this dispute calls all of Rodrigo's pre-TGSAP scores into question, but somehow his TGSAP scores are safe. I guess the TG mantra would be "Vid, did". The rants
Getting back to the man of the hour, if you love dumb rants from cheaters continuing to profess their innocence in the face of obvious guilt, then Rodrigo Lopes is your guy!
I linked the "Oh, I don't have time to find the tape, I just play games for fun" rant above. Around November 12, Rodrigo sent another one, this time directly to Jace Hall, who reposted it to the public evidence thread: https://i.imgur.com/WPL4nM9.jpg
Let's see... "I've given a lot of time and work to this site," "These people are haters looking for evidence to destroy me," "They broke the rules when they opened this dispute," "It's unfair that there's so many of them all against me." Not a lot pertaining to the actual evidence, but you know how that goes. Oh, and an interesting little plea bargain at the end. "How about you just ban me for one year, and let me keep my scores?" Surely, the words of an innocent man!
It should be noted that his claim that he has proven his critics wrong only for them to resume at a later date doesn't seem to be valid. Multiple participants in the dispute looked for any instance of him proving the legitimacy of any contested run of his, ever, and nothing of the sort could be found.
Jace at this time responded to Rodrigo and reiterated his stance that, if this dispute were approved, it would result in the removal of Rodrigo's non-TGSAP scores and a ban of to-be-determined length.
Oh, but this wasn't the last of Rodrigo's juicy rants. He had up to this point avoided participating in all the disputes against his runs (except for one 2017 dispute
which called for a mere time adjustment). But dude had had enough! This injustice would stand no further! On page 25, he decided to finally make an appearance, and lay some truth down on the non-believers: https://i.imgur.com/NqvJ8Dp.png
Oh my gosh, for real? How long is this gonna go? https://i.imgur.com/ekT1HYv.png You'll have to go there yourself
if you want to bask in its true awe, but here's the gist: "I've been with Twin Galaxies a long time, but nobody cares what I've done! Nobody thanked me for all the work I did! Good players are leaving, and you don't care! Us players who have stayed since the beginning are treated like garbage! Newbies are treated with more respect than me! If you so much as submit an incorrect digit, you'll get banned forever for cheating! These haters attack me wherever I go! Look at these other disputes about which I have nothing meaningful to say! Someone can start a dispute, and there's no penalty if they're wrong, but I can lose all my records, so how is that fair!? Why do these newbies have more influence than us senior members!? Twin Galaxies doesn't care if I'm banned or not! I spent my time helping Twin Galaxies, but these newbies are spending all their time investigating me! If I lose, I'll lose 8,300 records, this is unfair! This will never end! Even if I upload Zelda and prove them wrong, they'll just dispute me again without proof! Angela starts a dispute without evidence, and there's no penalty, but if I refuse to submit the video, I get banned! You cannot say this is fair! I don't need to defend myself against an invalid dispute! Twin Galaxies is corrupt against itself! Go ahead and remove all my records from before 2013, I'll reclaim them again! I'll agree to a one-year ban, but you don't need to ban me permanently! Thank you to all my real friends!"
At that point, Rodrigo finally relented and addressed the actual evidence against him by publishing his complete Zelda tape, proving his innocence and putting the matter to rest forever.... Just kidding. No, what really happened was Jace Hall at last closed the actual dispute thread with an official statement effectively saying "Enough is enough", announcing that Rodrigo's scores would be removed immediately.
Haha, nope, that didn't happen either. This circus train wasn't going to stop that easily. Makin' up the rules
You probably thought Jace was done with his wacky dispute deals. But YOU THOUGHT WRONG.
Rodrigo complained over and over that the dispute process was unfairly biased against him. This seems weird to me, given that people disputing TG scores are expected to spend hours of their free time and bend over backwards to dissect what little public evidence is available while the person claiming the score can sit back and do actual nothing even when compelling evidence against their claim emerges. But regardless, Rodrigo's complaints were heard by the Twin Galaxies ringmaster himself, who whipped up the following offer to dispute participants: https://i.imgur.com/7vJfVWG.png
What? The? Hell? Is going on here!?
I don't want to bash the people who signed up for that, as they can do what they want. But you'll notice that, despite my having posted to the dispute thread advocating that all of Rodrigo's scores should be removed,
my name isn't anywhere near that nonsense. And it's not because dude isn't obviously guilty, and it's not because I have any TG submissions whatsoever to care about. It's because this is fucking insaaane.
First off, it's one thing for Rodrigo to be annoyed at someone disputing his score/time with no evidence, but it's a whole 'nother matter when significant evidence exists that the run is cheated. Imagine if someone who certainly appeared to be guilty of a crime - let's say, bribery - complained that it's not fair he has to defend himself in court and may go to jail, while the people credibly accusing him aren't at risk of anything themselves. Now, imagine the judge says, "You know what? You're right! Let's make it more fair. The people who think he's guilty, please raise your hands. Here's the deal. If this guy is found guilty, he'll go to jail for bribery, but if he's found not guilty, you'll all go to jail instead!"
Like, why is this bogus complaint being entertained by TG admin at all? Like, at all
There's also the little matter that Twin Galaxies dispute verdicts haven't always been exactly reliable. Like, I'm really supposed to risk anything, literally anything whatsoever, on the notion that TG administration will look at concrete evidence of someone cheating and conclude "Yup, case is clear, dude definitely cheated." I wouldn't risk my garbage on that, no matter how certain I was that the person actually cheated.
I will also point out that 1) like the rest of this ridiculousness, this clearly didn't go through any lawyer, and 2) given that it wasn't vetted in any way, it wouldn't really stop Rodrigo from uploading his original spliced submission and claiming that it "clearly and definitively proves without question" that his run is "valid". We all know what these words are supposed to mean in real talk, but in a pseudo-legal context they can be argued many different ways. It's like making a bet with someone you don't trust that one of you will get the "record" on a given game without ever specifying what track, what rules, who's going to verify it, or what the timetable is.
Oh, and once again, we see Jace Hall just making shit up as he goes. Contrary to his claim that this sort of offer will be in effect for "one specific dispute case only", the precedent is now set. Isaiah "Triforce" Johnson, during his Contra 3 dispute last year, claimed to have a tape showing a playthrough of his which he would only publish in the event Twin Galaxies removed his score. Does he now get right of reprisal against his disputers? Does every accused gamer get that right? Should there really be a penalty for raising a question about a run's legitimacy? I get that score disputes can definitely be used as harassment, and I do agree that matters concerning the investigation of potential cheating should be handled with some delicacy (which seems to be lacking from the TG dispute method in general), but at the end of the day, such matters must be discussed if the sport is to stay clean.
While this offer of Jace's certainly added to the theatrics of the Twin Galaxies clown rodeo, I'm not sure it improves his scoreboard's legitimacy. It also tacitly gives away the notion that Jace is already quite confident in the guilt of the accused. He knows he isn't actually going to have to enforce this nonsense, which would mean scrubbing out several of TG's top competitors and contributors from his site, all for life. Like, why not just act on that confidence and remove the score? Is it that the theatrics are more important?
Soon after this new offer from Jace, with people now risking lifetime bans and score removals over this dispute, the question was asked whether this meant Rodrigo would now face a full score removal and lifetime ban rather than the partial measure referenced multiple times earlier: https://i.imgur.com/QKnAeEG.png
No direct answer was given. Technical difficulties
For a short while, there was some consternation that wiping Rodrigo Lopes and all his scores could actually break the Twin Galaxies website: https://i.imgur.com/Ykuwtrp.png
Basically, the site grants users all these points and ratings and bullshit based on their participation in submission and adjudication under TGSAP, and a lot of that would get torn to shreds the moment Rodrigo and his submissions are plucked from the system. Unlike Todd, Billy, and some others, whose scores (bogus and otherwise) were limited to the old referee days, Rodrigo has been even more active under TGSAP than he was before, even though it was his older records which finally came under scrutiny. This was the first time that a wide removal of scores under the TGSAP system was being considered. Jace said of the possibility of a one-time workaround: https://i.imgur.com/InZwWZT.png
He did eventually come back and say the site's engineers figured out a way to keep everyone's credibility rating and submission points, but really, who cares?
Check this out, though! Rodrigo returned! On page 35: https://i.imgur.com/p5q6c4v.png
Holy smokes! Tapes! Lots of them!! And he's recording them... like, externally, with a cell phone, I guess? But hey, that's something! Are we actually gonna get some progress? Are we gonna see this Legend of Zelda one-time world record that Rodrigo's been oh-so happy to brag about all these years? https://i.imgur.com/bLS1ZHk.png
Hahahaha, Nope!! We got two short clips of his digital capture being recorded off his computer screen. One is just 20 seconds of him getting the first sword, and the other is a shorter version of the level 9 video we've already seen. Here, check 'em out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO4-qsMylHQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imFaesFrMRo
"Ohhhhhh gosh, it would be sooooooooooo much trouble to drag this already digitized file over into YouTube. I'm afraid the best I can do is record a couple minutes of it externally and then post that instead."
Of course, his three posts on page 35
came with more ranting about how the disputes are invalid, and how people are only disputing these records because they belong to him. He says that Jace probably doesn't want to lose him or other members of the site, remarking in all-caps "WE DONT NEED TO FIGHT AGAINST OURSELVES." (No dude, we don't, because you're a cheater.) Also another attempt at plea-bargaining down to temporary ban with only old scores removed. Also another shout out to his real friends.
Literally not one person bought any of this shit, of course. There were many more requests that Rodrigo upload the Zelda run, or even perhaps, just the segment from the last Triforce piece to the first stairway of level 9, since theoretically that would provide enough data on enemy spawn formations and item drops to determine any splices. However, Mrturk did point out on page 37 that a lot of information on what people would be looking for had been collected in the dispute thread, and that Rodrigo did now have the opportunity to at least try to modify the evidence to erase certain tells. Thus, at this point, with so many people agreeing to risk lifetime bans themselves, Twin Galaxies should accept only the entire original video (not that they were going to get it, anyway). Wrapping it up
Oh my goodness, are we there yet?
Not long after Rodrigo's taunt that he totally had the video right there and still wouldn't be sharing it with anyone, things actually started functioning reasonably, starting with this announcement from Jace: https://i.imgur.com/kzPkBEh.png
things functioned reasonably. As I was starting to write all this, I was occasionally refreshing Rodrigo's profile page, and on Tuesday I saw this message: https://i.imgur.com/t8DEVPu.png
I thought, this must be it! Dude is done for!
But no, not only can TG not run a score dispute, they can't run a damn website either. The player profile link I had been following, the one that still comes up right now when you Google "Twin Galaxies Siliconian" - https://www.twingalaxies.com/siliconian
- stopped working. They changed site URLs that day, and a bunch of existing links are all broken, now. The new URL for Rodrigo's profile - https://www.twingalaxies.com/member.php/36224-Siliconian
- was still business as usual.
...at least for a few hours. Then Rodrigo's profile actually did change: https://i.imgur.com/NuUyulc.png
No official word, though. Does "BANNED" mean temporary, or permanent? All 8,468 of his scores were still there. It seems like, if you were TG admin, and if you were the sole party able to choose when this stuff would be implemented, you could... you know... have your closing statement ready to go for when you flip the switch. This dispute couldn't even end properly.
Almost five hours later, we finally got the word: https://i.imgur.com/FRZzVow.png
Okay, not a good start... https://i.imgur.com/VONhBc1.png
TG admin cited the fact that a lot of people put a lot of time and energy into investigating this dispute, while Rodrigo voluntarily told everyone he has the tape and refuses to share it. Apparently it matters that Rodrigo told everyone about the tape voluntarily, rather than the existence of the tape being deduced or discovered? TG admin also didn't care for the fact that Rodrigo suggested he would wait for a ban and then publish this totally-exonerating evidence after the fact, basically saying this conduct was unbecoming of a former TG ref who called on others to substantiate their claims many times: https://i.imgur.com/FriDuAP.png
Haha, somebody wasn't happy! As for the result: https://i.imgur.com/Fwxgywc.png
No explicit reason was given for why the punishment was bumped back up, although obviously it was the correct move. And the next day, the deed was done. TG admin then closed the official dispute thread, while opening a separate "Post-verdict" thread so people could continue bickering about irrelevant bullshit.
So what did we learn?
I think, deep down, in our heart of hearts, we know the answer:
Nothing we didn't already know. TL;DR: https://i.imgur.com/ZaCT9cC.png