Video game legend thrown out the record books after times found to be impossible


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/29/video-game-legend-thrown-out-t.html


#2

Didn’t they throw him out just last week?


#3

As I remember it, back then Activision would give you cloth patches for hitting a certain score, and you had to prove it by sending a photo of the screen with your score. Me and my brother figured out a simple hack to some of the games, if you jiggled the cartridge or stuck it in loosely you could get a glitchy version of the game to run sometimes. It worked well with “Freeway”, you could just hold the joystick up and the chicken would move across the road right through the cars without getting hit, and you could get a perfect score, unfortunately taking a photo of the screen meant they could see the glitchy cars that were chopped in half or otherwise distorted. I think we tried to take a close-up photo of just the score, so you couldn’t see the cars, but then we never bothered to send it in.


#4

For the analysis for Dragster one of the things that they did was go into the game and they removed all obstacles and just drove in a perfect straight line, from what i understand, and were still unable to replicate his time. Which pretty plain and evident that the time is impossible and Twin Galaxies initially were throwing up their hands at the cheating claims saying they did not want to take his record down because Activision said it was fine and that the record had stood for so long that they did not want to cause confusion. GG Twin Galaxies


#5

Last week it all came to a head as far as media coverage of “he could not have done it” goes. What’s been shaking out is the last vestiges of institutional denial. It was starting to make the Guinness Book of Records people look bad and that’s presumably the point where the gamers bickering on the forums feel a cold adult hand on their shoulders.


#6

I dunno where I got this, Kotaku probably? But this runs down why Tod Rodgers is not just a cheat, but a really bad cheat.


#7

This has been getting just enough attention that I reckon this fellow is about to make at least as much from some kind of book and/or movie deal as he did from being a record-setter for the last 30 years.

I remember back in the day Nintendo Power used to require people to include the system when sending in photos of their high scores, as a Game Genie tended to be rather conspicuous. Those were simpler times. Nowadays it seems like any game with an online leaderboard quickly gets dominated by impossible scores achieved through one glitch or another.

Cartridge tilting provided amusement right on through to the N64 era:


#8

The Dragster thing was even past this point, I believe: they’d figured out all the hacked and messed-up hardware scenarios that could explain an “impossible” time. I read that the result was that faster times were possible–all the way down to 2 seconds and change. So it would be even worse for Rogers: submitting a 5:51 time under such circumstances would be a crafty effort to post a time within normal parameters.


#9

if you jiggled the cartridge or stuck it in loosely you could get a glitchy version of the game to run sometimes. It worked well with “Freeway”

I used to do that to Adventure not out of the idea of cheating but to get a glitch version where I could walk though walls to see how rooms butted against each other and to find weird secrets in the game.


#10

After we found the secret room and the “created by Warren Robinette” Easter egg we though there might be more hidden stuff, so we managed to trap all the dragons and the bat in one of the castles, and had free reign to see if we could find any more hidden rooms using the bridge. Spent hours on every possible bridge-to-nowhere scenario, and I think eventually got trapped in some weird hyperspace area between screens.


#11

you mean the marketing team? I am shocked.


#12

Was that a record?


#13

Maybe they were just really bad at Dragster.


#14

Definitely a simpler era, the first thing I thought of was “just photoshop that score onto a normal screen…or just photoshop the score in the first place!”…and then I remember PhotoShop didn’t exist yet (and even once it did, you could only use it on an expensive Mac). Then I had to kick myself because not only was I alive at the time, but I too was playing games :wink:


#15

I’m pretty amazed that this is still a big deal, or is at least getting the attention that it is.

I love games as much as the next guy, but it just seems insane that people have put so much technical effort into seeing whether a “record” score on a defunct system from 30 years ago is valid.

Meanwhile we have insanely corrupt politics, wealth disparity that is causing massive suffering, ridiculous institutionalized racism, and so on… But dammit, there’s no way he could have scored that score on dragster! (I was always more of an “adventure” guy myself)…


#16

Been there, I totally got trapped in walls.


#17

It’s called repressive desublimation. Look it up some time.


#18

If I recall from a reddit thread on this dude, the original evidence was a company fluff-press newsletter that had an incorrect time in. Almost certainly a typo. Having written such publications, I am bemused at the cries of “negligence” when it is very likely that people today are using that 30 year old marketing rag for purposes no one who worked on it would support.


#19

Battletoads was one of the hardest games ever. Couldnt even beat it with save states on an emulator


#20

Above there’s a video which talks about how this was negligence at a minimum. Basically all of his records were 1: impossible and not even plausibly so (like, his score is 15 times higher than the second highest not even considering that the games aren’t even able to have scores that high,) 2: recorded with no video evidence, 3: okayed by a judge who was a personal friend of his, and 4: admitted that he sometimes even bypassed the requirement for a judge and just submitted the scores himself.