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Home Action Replay Page - Rules and Information

- List of current acceptable emulators
- Regulation Play Rules for all systems
- Game rankings and leaderboard calculation
- Other important HARP rules
- HARP Jobs and it's hierarchy
- Current Staff
- Some good etiquette that should be followed
- Rules for confirmers
- Rules for editors
- Rules regarding qualified emulators
- Rules regarding difficulty levels
- Questions you might have asked (Or an FAQ... except nobody's asked a question yet :) )
- Home Action Replay Links

List of currently acceptable emulators

System Name/
OS's / Download Comments
Atari 2600/5200/7800
Amstrad CPC
Apple II
Bally Astrocade
Commodore 64
Commodore Amiga
Sharp X68000
Mac OS
Because of the insane updating schedule of this software, use the lines in the first column. Although not required, it's a good idea to claim the correct version of MESS you used to make the recording in your descriptions.
If you use MESS as an emulator, WolfMESS is required. The second link is there for credit-where-due purposes.
MSX Only: You should replace your hash file using this ZIP file.
NES FCE Ultra Windows 0.98.16
Windows 0.98.15
Windows 0.98.12
The links in the 3rd column are special movie versions, programmed by Blip of NESVideos. 0.98.12 is used for some NES entries here, but use of this version is now discouraged.
NES Famtasia 5.10 Windows This version uses the default checkboxes of Bisqwit's CGI patching script of downloading improvements to Famtasia. This emulator is strongly discouraged here.
SNES Snes9x Version 1.51 Windows
Linux 64-bit
Mac OS
This is the most current version of SNES9X. We recommend that you use this version in your SNES recordings.
SNES Snes9x Version 1.43+ Windows - improvement 9
Windows - improvement 7
This is Nitsuja's newest improved version of Version 1.43. Used in many recordings at HARP, but is now obsoleted via version 1.51.
SNES Snes9x Version 1.43 Windows
Mac OS
This is an old version of SNES9X, obsoleted via version 1.51.
SNES Snes9x Version 1.43 WIP 1 Windows
Old SNES9X version that some recordings use. NO LONGER ALLOWED FOR COMPETITION AT HARP.
SNES ZSNES 1.42 Windows
Included as some people are more comfortable with this emulator instead.
Genesis Gens 2.12 Windows - version 9.5b
Windows - version 9z
Windows - version 9j
Windows - version 9f
This uses Blip/Jyzero's of NESVideos specialized movie variation of Gens. 9.5b and 9z may be the same version...
Genesis Gens Plus! Windows
This is Rodrigo Cardoso's rendition of Gens's recording feature. Since it does not keep track of the length of the recording, this version is not recommended, but is allowed for competition.
GB/GBC Visual Boy Advance 1.7.2 - re-recording Windows - version 20
Windows - version 19
Windows - version 10
This is a re-recording version programmed by Nitsuja of NESVideos. Because it keeps track of the length of the recording, and the fact that this will record many games that the original version did not, this version is recommended. Remember, you're not allowed to use save states during your recording. :)
One more thing... this version requires certain DLLs, which is right below the Windows link.
GB/GBC Visual Boy Advance 1.7.2 Windows
This is the original Visual Boy Advance... since it records gameboy games, it is allowed for HARP competition, but is not recommended for the reasons above.
N64 Mupen 64 Windows This version is a version 8 re-recording program programmed by Nitsuja of NESVideos.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum RealSpectrum/RealSpectrum32 DOS/Windows
Download link is to their page due to the many different types of downloads. The windows version is a bit buggy to me, but I've heard some people can get it working, so it's here.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Spectaculator Windows
Spectaculator 6.25 is shareware, and can be downloaded via the left link. The right link is to Spectaculator 5.3, which is freeware. Thanks to Johathan Needle for allowing this as freeware.

SNES emulators only: Be forewarned, some games only require them to be recorded without sound on EITHER emulator. With SNES9X, it's possible to record with volume envelope height reading turned off. I will attempt to figure out which games are affected as the site progresses. Keep an eye out on the message board.

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Regulation Play Rules for all systems

- The objective of regulation play is to reenact an arcade feel for all games played.
- Therefore, use of autofire, slowdown, and/or save states are illegal.
- Pausing is permitted if the emulator allows it, because you can pause on a home system, but only through the emulator, not through the game. We don't want to see the word "Pause" on the screen for 3 minutes while you go to the bathroom. :)
- You may not use passwords. All games must start from the 1st level.
- We also don't want to be bored, so "leeching" is not permitted. In other words, you can't stay in the same area and score points forever. However, you are not leeching if you are netting a significant loss in number of lives. If you are netting a gain of lives, or a small loss of lives, even if extra lives stop at a point, you are leeching.
- Now, with all of this in mind, you're on your honor. We don't have competition emulators, so you probably could cheat and get away with it most of the time. (save the leeching, of course)
- However, should a competition emulator be released, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DELETE ALL SCORES FOR GAMES THEY AFFECT. We can also ask the top scorers to produce a reasonable high score in a competition emulator to prove the high score claimed from before.
- When a competition emulator is released, use of that emulator will be strongly encouraged. At some point, all future recordings may be required to use these emulators.
- Defn of a competition emulator: An emulator that disables save states, slowdowns, and autofires. Can also secure the information to prevent such cheating.
- GAMES THAT ALLOW YOU TO SAVE TO BATTERY: If a game belongs in this category, you do NOT have to put it all in one recording. Instead, you may record up to your playing time / 1 hour times, rounded down. EXAMPLE: If you played a game for 13.5 hours, you're allowed up to 13.5/1 rounded down = 13 separate recording files. You MUST pick up the game right where it left off in the previous recording, or it's an automatic disqualification.
- GAMES THAT DO NOT ALLOW YOU TO SAVE TO BATTERY: To ensure the exact console experience, you MUST put a recording on one file and one file only.
- AVIs, MPEGs, and similar media are prohibited... mostly because I have a hard disk space limit. :)
- Finally, You MUST ZIP ALL recordings.

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Game rankings and leaderboard calculation

- If there is scoring, then the most points will be ranked first.
- EXCEPTION: If the game has been found to invite tons of leeching, we may change the game to completing the most stages in the least time. - A scoring system that's not existant, usually completing the most stages (or completing the game) in the least time will be ranked first.
- Sports games will be the most common where the number of stages (or victories) in the biggest point differential will be ranked first.
- All recordings will be assessed a leaderboard value. Leaderboards can be arranged by the user in a variety of ways, so each user can decide who's the best overall player. 1st place scores 20 points, 2nd place scores 10 points, 3rd place gets 6, 4th gets 4, 5th gets 2, and 6th OR WORSE gets 1 point. This leaderboard system is intended to encourage participation, but REALLY rewards 1st place recordings.

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Other important HARP rules

- If a score is disqualified by an editor for any reason, the affected player has 45 days to contest the decision. If the player does not contest the decision, the recording will be subject to deletion from the database.
- THE COMMON SENSE RULE: HARP was designed to have as little politics as possible. Therefore, high-ranking officers, including editors and system leaders, should use common sense in interpreting the rules. Examples: If a recording uses an emulator that's not supposed to be used, consider letting the infraction slide once or twice unless you have a darn good reason. If somebody uses the wrong game, but it plays back on that different game, then you SHOULD create a new game entry (if needed) and move the recording there, NOT disqualify the recording.
- In addition, high-ranking officers should consider having other people take the leader position for various sections at HARP, ESPECIALLY in tournaments.
- You will not be eligible for registering in the forums until you submit ONE CONFIRMED RECORDING, in either regulation play or any tournament HARP has to offer. You will be e-mailed(provided you gave us a legal e-mail address) when you earn your first confirmation. - If you register for the site, you have 60 days to make a submission, or your account will be at risk from being deleted from the site. Don't worry, if your account is deleted, you can re-register, probably with the same username.

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HARP Jobs and it's hierarchy

- Confirmers watch recordings and makes sure the recording plays back to the claimed score. Almost anybody can become a confirmer if said person wants to. You pretty much have to be screwed up to be denied access. :) Confirmers report to editors, system leaders, SuperEditors, and the founder.
- Editors are also confirmers... but they also enforce the rules at HARP, editing scores and disqualify recordings for various rule violations. Editors report to the system leader or the SuperEditors.
- System leaders usually know their stuff about a particular system. They usually wind up editors for that system as well. System leaders report to the founder.
- SuperEditors are highly active players at HARP. They are just like Editors, except they can edit score for ANY system or tournament available at HARP. They usually have been editors for a system or two or three before reaching this step. SuperEditors report to the founder as well.

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Current Staff

Confirmers All systemsMetrackle
Nintendo Entertainment SystemRoncli
ZX Spectrum Eyp
Editors Speccy Tour Eyp
System LeadersAmstrad CPC Mahlemiut
Apple II Skito
Atari 2600 Skito
Bally Computer System Barthax
Commodore 64 Notman
Nintendo Entertainment SystemMetrackle
SNES Metrackle
ZX Spectrum Frankie
SuperEditors None yet!
Other helpers Master Of The Screenshot Skito
Founder Gameboy9

If you're not listed here and you should be, please let Gameboy9 know.

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Some good etiquette that should be followed

- Please start your recording from reset, if possible. This usually saves disk space because you don't have to save a state in addition to the recording.
- Please start your game as soon as possible. Reason being is because the length of your recording that's recorded on HARP is not the same as the recorded time that might be claimed on the emulator. Starting the game as soon as possible prevents a timing error. See questions below.
- For the same reason, please end your recording as soon as possible. Basically, when you complete the game, stop your recording, THEN enjoy the ending. This is more important than the previous item because I have to anticipate the "movie ended" line from the emulator, which may result in a timing error if I miss it. And I don't want to play the whole movie again, especially if it's a Role Playing Game.

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Rules for confirmers

- CARDINAL RULE: With each recording, play it back IN IT'S ENTIRETY. If it plays back in it's entirety, then claim a CONFIRMATION by clicking the (Un-)confirm link next to the appropriate recording, unless there's a problem in the rules below. If it does NOT play back in it's entirety, claim an UNCONFIRMATION and comment what the problem is. Maybe you can't see what the score was or the playback un-syncs itself, or some other problem might arise.
- If it's a scoring game, make sure the score is completely accurate with no margin of error. If there is a margin of error, claim an UNCONFIRMATION, and comment what the real score is. An editor will change the score, then it will be your RESPONSIBILITY to change it to a CONFIRMATION, provided it followed the CARDINAL RULE.
- If the game is a least time wins game, make sure the score is accurate with a little margin of error. If there is a margin of error of seconds, claim a CONFIRMATION. If there is a margin of error of minutes (or some 20 seconds or more in short games), claim an UNCONFIRMATION, and comment what the time should be. An editor will change the time, then it will be your RESPONSIBILITY to change it to a CONFIRMATION, provided it followed the CARDINAL RULE.
- If unnecessary fields are not filled in, don't worry about it, it's an editors responsibility to fill them in. But if you want to help, keep the CONFIRMATION, and comment what the unnecessary fields should be, and an editor will take care of it.

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Rules for editors

- CARDINAL RULE: ALWAYS be fair and honest. I don't care if your worst enemy or your best friend is playing, you must be fair in your decisions at all times. I cannot stress that enough.
- An editor is also a confirmer, and are subject to those rules.
- If there is a timing correction of minute(small) realms, don't edit the recording. If there are errors in scoring and/or stages claimed, please correct them.
- If there is a really close time competition (a matter of a few seconds), Gameboy9 will carefully review the timing and make a final decision.
- EXCEPTION: If Gameboy9 is involved in the competition, he will bring in an editor to make a more fair decision. - Some players may not claim things that are unnecessary for submission. (Like time and stages completed in a most points wins game) They are not to be penalized; it is YOUR responsibility to fill in those values in as fair and as accurate as possible.

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Rules regarding qualified emulators

- If an emulator supports recording input of a game and it plays back correctly with MOST games, it will be supported.
- The exception, at least for now, is MESS. There usually will be an emulator that is superior to MESS, so MESS won't be allowed for that system. MESS probably supports recording for NES and SNES, for example, but FCEU, Famtasia, and SNES9x do a much better job with recordings in those cases, so MESS isn't allowed.

Rules regarding difficulty levels

- You may enter the options screen before the game to choose a difficulty level.
- You may play the game using ANY difficulty level.
- However, the harder the game is, the more points you get on the scoreboard.
. If you play the easiest difficulty, you get no bonus.
. If you play the 2nd easiest difficulty, your score is multiplied by 2.
. If you play the 3rd easiest difficulty, your score is multiplied by 3, and so forth.
- YOU MUST BEAT THE GAME IN ORDER TO GET THE DIFFICULTY BONUS! If there is no ending, you earn the bonus. - EXCEPTION: If a game is programmed to accommodate a higher score for a more difficult game, the game's rules take effect.

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Questions you might have asked

Why is it taking a long time to add these games to the site? It mostly has something to do with how these games are added to the database. We have to categorize them, (shooters, platforms, puzzles, etc.) so we have to load all the games to figure out what type of game it is. We also have to see what type of scoring system, if any, the game presents. Doesn't help that real life gets in the way, either.
How is the recording's game length determined? The "clock" will start after the last button before a game begins is pressed. The "clock" will stop after the last loss of life, or when the game is completed.
Why are you printing rules for confirmers and editors? Because I feel that all players should know about the expectations of those types of players.

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Home Action Replay Links


Bisqwit's tool-assisted console game movies deserves a link here, as we use a number of the pieces of software they use. It's also one of the best replay sites as well... the difference between this site and theirs is that they strive for the best theoretical time or score to complete a game via savestates and the slowing down of an emulator, amongst other tools and strategies.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Frankie is currently creating an archive of ZX Spectrum games that can be legally distributed. They also write how to create recordings for said system, as well as list currently supported games on HARP. Click here to check out this site.

*Somewhat* unrelated...

The Home Action Replay Page is actually based on the MAME Action Replay Page's (MARP) model, and remains THE top replay page within the arcade emulation realm with over thirty thousand(30,000) recordings. They also conduct various competitions outside it's regulation realm, including decathlon-style competitions, a knockout-style competition known as the MAME Championships, two championships based on a week-by-week format, and a MAME Olympiad, which MARP will host the 2nd of such in 2005.

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