MAME Action Replay Page - Rules

The Rules of MARP

Welcome to the MARP Rules Page. (Reglas en Espanol)

This page was last updated 28 May 2020.

1. MARP is a self-regulating community. It is expected that all players will behave honorably as a part of this community, contributing not only to the leaderboard but to the discussions regarding the community as well. Everyone has a say at MARP, whether you're 1st on the leaderboard or 101st, and whether you've been at MARP for 4 years or 4 minutes. Therefore:

a) Maintain the rules of politeness and no swearing on the message board.

b) If you have a dispute with another MARPer, please contact them personally instead of flaming them publicly.

c) Be honest in your scoring and recording techniques.

d) At MARP, only ONE account is allowed per player; if two accounts have the same email or IP address, or anything proves to be created by the same player, only the first account will be kept.

e) Submit only games that you feel are worthy of the notice of other MARPers, owing either to personal effort or display of skill.

2. If MAME's goal, as Nicola Salmoria has stated, is to emulate the arcade game as closely as possible, then MARP's goal is to emulate the experience of "watching a virtual master play an arcade game", true to the arcade experience, as closely as possible. This has led to the following rules:

a) Only one credit per game shall be permitted.

b) Autofire is not permitted.

c) At Marp, it is not permitted to use more than one key or button in MAME for the same arcade machine button simultaneously.

Example 1: While playing Hypersports, you map keys Q,W,E,R,T,Y to running button 1 and smash them simultaneously, to get unhuman button pushing speed -- NOT OK
Example 2: While playing Hypersports, you map 2 buttons and the joystick to running use joystick at all events, except at skeets you use buttons (you don't use joystick and buttons same time) -- OK
Example 3: While playing Tron you use analog joystick for movement, but at lightcycles you use a keyboard -- OK
Example 4: While playing Fighter, you use button macros of joystick -- NOT OK

d) Mapping two or more of the original arcade machine's buttons to a single key or joystick button in MAME is not permitted.

Example 1: While playing Fighter, you map MAME buttons 1 and 2 and 3 to keyboard key Q, so you can make a special move with 100% accuracy by pushing only one button -- NOT OK
Example 2: While playing Fighter, you map key Q to player 1 joystick up and left..this way when you press Q, you get a diagonal with 100% accuracy -- NOT OK
Example 3: While playing Hypersports, you map 2 running buttons to keyboard key Q, you get 2 pushes at game by pushing Q once -- NOT OK

e) Cheats are not permitted. (although many powerups are allowed)

f) As of 15 September 2001, the use of nvram files is prohibited, unless otherwise specified in special rules. If a person thinks a certain game fits into that category, he must contact any of the editors so they can discuss the issue. After the discussion all the editors will vote for or against the idea and present a final decision. All games will be discussed on a case by case basis.
You can also download this file to ensure no nvram is used if you use the commandline. (usage: record {gamename}). It should be noted that in some games, having hiscore.dat present can affect playback, as can memory cards (memcard\memcard.*), so it would be wise to remove these before recording.
The same goes for difference files (diff\*.dif), which contain changes made to a CHD (Compressed Hunk of Data - typically a Hard Drive or CD image). If the corresponding file isn't deleted or moved before recording, the INP is likely to be unplaybackable.
It is strongly recommended that you set the nvram_directory option to NUL (or /dev/null for Linux/BSD/OS X users) in mame.ini, or simply add to the commandline -nvram_directory NUL or -nvram_directory /dev/null on Linux/BSD/OS X.

g) There may be special rules involved OR restrictions (e.g. 5 lives only, special scoring system, etc.) for a particular game you want to submit. PLEASE read those rules before making a submission. There is a special rules link in the second column of each submitted recording if there are any.

h) Point or life leeching is strongly discouraged, and banned on some games, as described in the banned techniques list, or in the specific game's special rules. You cannot continuously gain points without some degree of risk and you must keep moving to complete a level.

i) Games must be played at a MINIMUM of 90% of their full speed. Press F11 to show the speed display, if you are unsure.

j) INP recording submissions must be recorded using either that particular ROMset's defaults or Twin Galaxies Tournament Settings (TGTS). Recording using TGTS, which are the official standard arcade game settings is usually preferred, and will gain your scores further notice from your fellow players. A recording set at easier or different dipswitch settings will be subject to deletion, especially if it scores higher than others that had used the proper, and more difficult settings. In the case where there exist both tournament (TGTS) and marathon (TGMS) settings, TGTS always takes precedence because the expectation is that tournament settings will be harder than marathon settings, and that the gameplay won’t last as long. In summary, any recording NOT using TGTS or default settings, OR any recording using TGMS when TGTS is available, will be subject to a zero out or deletion.

k) When recording an .inp, your recording is valid for the particular romset that you are playing ONLY. Many romsets have different difficulties, life settings, or funny nudity, so it is important that you make a different recording for each individual romset.

l) It is considered improper etiquette to record more than one game per .inp session. If this occurs only the first game's score will count.

m) Two player, three player and four player games are not permitted for recording at MARP. They make for very boring replays.

n) Using Pause 'P' or suspending the MAME program to take advantage of more time while making a recording will not be allowed. The same goes for turning throttling off 'F10' to speed up MAME beyond normal speed.

o) MARP Editors reserve the right to archive games (represented by a leading asterisk *) when any of the following is determined:
- has been removed from MAME
- is currently broken (non-working status)
- is not random and any events keep repeating
- maximum score is easy to attain with minimal effort
- no skill involved and is 100% pure luck (e.g. casino games)

3. Playback in a specified version of MAME is required to prove your scores. Detailed instructions about recording and playing back .inp files can be found here. It is therefore a player's responsibility to double-check their recordings to ensure that they playback properly. Recordings which do not play back under the version of MAME that you specified are subject to score-zeroing, modification, or deletion. If an editor changes your "claimed" score because the recording plays back to a different score, it will be indicated in the comments for that recording.

a) Use of Wolf- or TGMAME is preferred.
MAME u, -update versions are not allowed if your operating system has more official versions available.

b) As of 15 April 2007, use of WolfMAME is required if you take first place in any game. You can download WolfMAME from here.

4. Submitting just one recording gives you several rights as a member. Click here for more details on those procedures.

5. After a certain period of activity, you can vote in elections that take place every December, or even become a coordinator or editor yourself. Click here for more details about the positions and who/how to vote in a general election.

6. And most importantly, have fun. This site is free, and has been conceived of and run by one of the greatest web gurus around. Feel free to e-mail Zwaxy and tell him what a great job he's done. If you have questions about the rules or the rules page, and don't want to post to the message board, try contacting Pat Laffaye

Banned Gameplay Techniques

Banned Games at MARP

Special Scoring Page

Mahjong Rules and Scoring