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Unfortunately we've recently been made aware that many of the runs submitted to SDA by Mike "TSA" Damiani were cheated. This includes runs of Zelda: Link to the Past and Zelda: Ocarina of time that have since been obsoleted.  Also included in this list are the Zelda 1 run and Link's Awakening DX runs which were still on the site.  We determined that the verifiers of those runs couldn't have been reasonably expected to catch the cheating.

In response to this news, we've decided to remove all of TSA's runs from the site.  This includes:
The Legend of Zelda SS any% (confirmed cheated)
Link's Awakening DX SS any% (confirmed cheated)
Zelda: Wind Waker segmented any%
Zelda: Four Swords Adventures levels 1-2, 1-3, 6-1 & 8-2

Yes, that means the Four Swords Adventures table currently sits incomplete.  We would urge anybody who is interested to submit ILs of these levels to complete the table. This also means that we have no run on the site for Wind Waker.  The DX ss category has been removed from the LA:DX page and we've reverted to the 34:04 TLoZ run by Tom 'rdrunner' Votava.
Thread title:  
what exactly did he do that was considered cheating?

and the wind waker run is really outdated, so it's not a huge loss Wink
Edit history:
Flip: 2011-03-28 05:24:47 pm
His SS runs were confirmed to be different attempts spliced together. He later confirmed this in #sda, but I wasn't there to see it.  Heard about it later.
Edit history:
mikwuyma: 2011-03-28 05:17:24 pm
mikwuyma: 2011-03-28 05:15:21 pm
mikwuyma: 2011-03-28 05:14:19 pm
My feelings on The Demon Rush
Biospark: All of his runs are really outdated, except for Zelda 1 I guess, but I'm not sure people care about that game anymore since there hasn't been much speedrunning discussion (sorry Breakdown).

Zelda: Link's Awakening DX: Pieces of Power and acorn drops are tied to how many enemies you kill, and the counter resets if you save+quit (or maybe just powering off). Vorpaledge tested his kill counts on emulator, and TSA didn't get an acorn drop when he was supposed to.

Zelda 1: This chart: http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/3951/zeldaitemdropsnr2.png details what enemies can drop what items, depending on the kill order. Around 1:05ish in TSA's run A blue octorok (I think that's what it is) drops an item that shouldn't drop.

Oh yeah, thanks to Baxter and Morrison for posting that image in their 2nd quest run comments.
Highly Evolved
I find this bit of news disappointing.

I'm no Zelda runner, but I do know TSA is (was?) a well respected runner.  This goes beyond just tarnishing the name. 
But the runs are old, who cares anymore!?!?
Edit history:
VorpalEdge: 2011-03-28 05:29:54 pm
VorpalEdge: 2011-03-28 05:27:47 pm
VorpalEdge: 2011-03-28 05:25:58 pm
welcome to the machine
Vorpaledge tested his kill counts on emulator, and TSA didn't get an acorn drop when he was supposed to.

to elaborate: tsa's first special drop in ladx is an acorn 12 enemies into dungeon 2, which pretty much guarantees a save/quit at the dungeon entrance.  He kills a lot more things throughout the game than recent runs too.  His first drop should've been an acorn either on the way back or on the way to trading the dog food for a banana, can't remember.  Yes, I know some damage resets the acorn drop counter, and the only damage he took up to that point was a fall in the pit to escape the cave with 50 rupees.  That doesn't reset the counter.  I verified this by loading a lua script that displays the counters on emu and then replicating his run up to that point.
train kept rollin
I guess Im not angry, just disappointed Sad
Yes, a cucco riding the ground.
I'm also disappointed that someone like TSA would cheat. It makes me think that his old Ocarina of Time runs were probably cheated too. I would have thought that being praised for your runs wasn't worth the guilt of knowing that you cheated and that you don't deserve the praise. Hopefully it's not worth it for most people. How exactly did this come to light? Also, what about going back to Marshmallow's Wind Waker run?
My feelings on The Demon Rush
You know what, I never thought of that, Manocheese. We could go back to Marshmallow's run, I simply forgot he had a run.
12-year-old boy / real into textiles
He was the reason I started watching speedruns, so this is particularly depressing. Yeah, his runs were old, but that doesn't mean he wasn't important to zelda speedrunning.
Ironically, this http://forum.speeddemosarchive.com/post/tsas_speedrun_of_the_minish_cap_is_this_real.html
Waiting hurts my soul...
Wait, he cheated the IL levels of four swords as well, or is everything TSA being tossed out?
FSA ILs and WW not confirmed cheated. Everything is being removed.
Stand: Devil's Call in your Heart

this sucks. i never considered he could have done something like this. i guess we can't fully trust anyone regardless of their reputation.
when you least expect it, someone turns out to be a dirty cheater. this happens even to the best sadly (one of the past F-Zero X champs cheated in one of his last PRs and people never believed his latest times.)

it is also kinda funny how he was caught because of limitations of the game's coding. has anyone examined his old OoT run to see inconsistencies?
I wanted to give you guys an explanation, and whether you believe it or not isn't important, it's my version of the truth.  This is not an attempt to validate my runs, but this is something I feel I need to say.

I did not cheat at speed running or fake runs ever.  I've had to listen to a bunch of Zelda speedrunners explain how my "item drops" and other inconsistencies "prove" I used what they call "splicing" and save/quit to make a what amounts to a segmented run masking as a single segment.  This is not true, and I am going to give you the full explanation of why this is so.  As I explained to Radix 6+ years ago, back then I did not have a good PC or capture card.  I could not capture beyond a certain time limit.  Too many of my runs would end because of a capture issue, and I was fed up.  Yes, I could have used VHS or DVD, but I was convinced by SDA people back then that capture cards were the way to go.  Before I ever submitted to SDA, I submitted all runs on VHS and cam to Twin Galaxies.  No way I could have cheated with the setup they required, it was all in one capture on tape with cam footage to prove I played the game.  My capture problems lead me to ask Radix about a solution, which was allowed by him.  It was to allow me to capture my runs in chunks.  However, I would do multiple runs at a time, and despite my best efforts, I now know segments from different attempt made it into the submission files to Radix. You can easily say that this means I picked the best segments and constructed better runs, and no matter what I say, those doubts can't be proven wrong by words.

What I should have done is spoken up when I realized this (beyond my Ocarina of Time sub 5 hour run), and asked my runs be taken down or re-classified as RTA or segmented and apologized.  I figured somebody would beat all of my runs sooner rather than later, so I maybe that's why I didn't feel such an urgency then, but it's no excuse. However, I never intentionally tried to do any of this, nor was it my intention to deceive anyone.  The issues with trying to do single-segment runs eventually took its toll, and I turned to segmented runs (my last few runs, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, and my incomplete Ocarina of Time runs were all segmented) to keep myself sane until I could afford a better capture card and PC.  But, as you know, I retired before I got to the that point.

I do not care if my runs are on SDA anymore or not, but I'm not going to stand for the cheating accusations.  I didn't cheat, I made honest mistakes, and I should have contacted SDA sooner when I realized there were issues with my run and/or not allowed myself to submit stuff that wasn't in one single recording. Lastly, many of my runs before SDA were one on VHS because I had no other means to capture and were all in one recording.  I had a crappy computer that could barely capture stuff, so I do not know where any of you get the idea I spliced this crap together even if I wanted - my stuff was always submitted to Radix in chunks, never a single file unless it was small enough.  And, I'll gladly do any of my "runs" live, in person if people are really that convinced I cheated or whatever.  I don't have any desire to speedrun anymore, but if it means proving doubters wrong again, so be it. 
Edit history:
ShadowWraith: 2011-03-28 07:29:51 pm
I'm not sure you'll be able to shake the 'cheater' moniker. The fact of the matter is some of the runs you submitted to SDA break the rules. Maybe it was unintentional, maybe it wasn't, but at the end of the day, that's what happened.

If you're telling the truth, it's a shame that this ended up happening. If you aren't, you deserve it and more. Either way, the runs have to go.
I'm not your buddy, guay!
As a Zelda Speedrunner I was very disappointed to hear this news. TSA was a huge reason I even got interested in speedrunning.

Would love to see TSA do TLoZ live, and get a time that would be the record again.
Stand: Devil's Call in your Heart
the segments thing can explain why those segments don't add up in their respective runs.

still, combining segments from different runs is a form of cheating. if some segments ended up mixed and this is the result, that's too bad since, as you said, there's no way to prove it was how it happened or if it was on purpose.
i know frustration can push people to do that. sometimes i've been tempted to use best splits as my PR in some games due to frustration of not being able to finish the race but i don't do it because it is not a real time and can't be proved.

ss runs with these problems, well, that sucks. capture cards weren't that great back in the day unless you had big bucks.
lol who gives a fuck about tsa
How can you record a single segment speed run in chunks? That makes no sense.
Ganondorf = Donkey Kong LOOK IT UP!!
Maybe something as ugly as this rearing its head onto the site could be an opportunity to revise some of the verification process. Granted, I don't know HOW much the process has changed in the past X years, I've only been apart of SDA for less than a year (newbie here), but it could be a pointer that we NEED verifiers on emulators for particular games, much like VorpalEdge did for the LADX run (great work with that by the way VE).

Of course this could only apply to games with static item drops, or heavy RNG that can be directly manipulated in-game. For at least those games, it would strengthen the legitimacy of published runs a good ten-fold. However, it would definitely make the initial search for up-to-the-task verifiers harder for those games.

Does that sound sane to anyone else or is it just me?

I think I join everyone in saying "TSA, We Are Disappoint."
Edit history:
mikwuyma: 2011-03-28 10:37:29 pm
My feelings on The Demon Rush
CrypticJacknife: These runs were verified back in 2004-2006, and verification was a lot different back then. One verifier was common, and the results were never publically posted.

I don't think verificaiton really needs to be changed because of this incident.

EDIT: Even if you didn't mean to cheat TSA, you still passed off segmented runs at single-segment.
This is very disappointing, as others have said.

Given how much TSA has contributed to the world of Zelda speedrunning, I will choose to believe him that this was a matter of insufficient technology rather than intentional cheating.  Course the spliced runs should be removed even if this is the case.
I'd be very interested in seeing TSA perform a live old-school run of Ocarina of Time.

We could make an event of it! TSA's Race for Redemption.