Author Topic: Are save states in retro games cheating?  (Read 1010 times)

Are save states in retro games cheating?
« on: May 29, 2019, 04:45:57 pm »
I've been playing the Castlevania Collection on the Switch and originally I had no intention of using save states; but I'm at the point where I'm not sure if I have to time to beat some of these old games with out them. I kinda have mixed feelings about it, on one hand, save states don't do anything to make the encounters easier; ie the enemies arent nerfed and I'm not buffed; but on the other the game originally did not have the ability to save, so you are playing the game in a way that the creators never intended.

I think I'm leaning towards not cheating, the more I think about it I start to realize that saving in a game has pretty much become the standard and that if the original developers created the same games now, they would probably have followed modern trends and included the ability to save your progress.

Thoughts? Opinions? 

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2019, 05:13:43 pm »
"Cheating" is only something that matters in competition.  Are you doing something to get an advantage over another actual person or if participating in an event? Then that's cheating.  Playing a singleplayer game how you want to play is just about having the experience you want.  I think the difficulty in a lot of those old games are very frustrating and a lot of the time created with a very artificial difficulty.

As a kid, I never beat a lot of retro games.  They were ridiculously hard, on purpose, to prolong the games length, so I use save states all the time in retro games now if I can.  It takes a lot of the tedium out of the game of having to constantly replay through sections, especially if the boss fights are frustrating.

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2019, 05:20:24 pm »
I use save states a lot on Virtual Console and emulators. It's just not always feasible to play for long stints sometimes, things come up suddenly too. I think its just an artifact of the time it was made, not an intentional difficulty for the player to just deal with. I've even used save states on some games with saves that were kinda brutal about it like Mother.

Cartagia

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 06:04:49 pm »
I use them as time savers.  I’ve made it to this point.  I could do it again, I just don’t have the time.



Playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II @ https://www.twitch.tv/shauntrek

shadowzero

PRO Supporter

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2019, 07:08:58 pm »
Bingo!  Its all about time for me too.  I just finished Mega Man 6 using save states the whole time knowing full well that the last time I played it was when I rented it back in the 90s.  So I have the memory of the painstaking time that each level and boss takes to learn.  I dont have to relive that part now as part time gamer, full time husband, father, provider.  I recently also watched Arcus live on twich get to Wart in SMB2 only to mess it up.  So he went back to the drawing board, loaded a save state @ Wart and practiced for twenty mins.  He then loaded the cart back up and got a personal best of 8.92mins.

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2019, 07:56:00 pm »
Completely fine with it, especially when otherwise the punishment for failure is having to restart the entire game from scratch.

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2019, 09:37:38 pm »
Im glad everyone seems to feel the same way about this.

sworddude

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2019, 04:58:52 am »
Speed runners practice certain hard parts on save states, it's only logical since otherwise it could take ages before you get good practice in late in the game.
Your Stylish Sword Master!



ferraroso

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2019, 07:42:51 am »
I think if someone considers save states as a way of cheating, that person should also consider emulation as a whole as cheating as well.

As for me, I've almost never played games using (unofficial) emulators*. But whenever I play on one of my mini consoles, I don't see any problem in using save states... If the option is there, it is up to the player to decide whether to use it or not.

* Not that I am against PC emulation or console hacking, it's just that I am too dumb to be able to install an emulator (or almost any other program for that matter) on my PC, and I've never seem myself wanting to play a game so much to the point of going through the trouble of learning how to properly use a personal computer... haha
Most people think I'm joking when I try to explain them my inability with these machines, but...
My major was in Philosophy, y'know? The only things I can do with my computer are typing on Microsoft Word and (barely) accessing the internet... Haha

kashell

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2019, 08:23:15 am »
I used save states whenever I could when I played retro games on my PC back in the day. It was for convenience, and there is no harm in doing it.
www.kashelltriumph.com
If you make me your enemy, you make the world your enemy.
                            

ignition365

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2019, 08:26:02 am »
I don't think it's cheating, but I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on save scumming.

I know a lot of folks think save scumming is cheating, but I feel like it's really no different than using save states in general.


Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2019, 10:00:03 am »
From the very most pedantic of technical standpoints, sure- it isn't how the game was designed to be played, therefore it's an advantage not given to the average player.

However- Nobody, but the most gatekeepery, dickish, must-prove-I'm-superior gamer is going to give a flying fuck about it. The old school gameplay style of forced repetition, dying & starting over until you've mastered the controls & can play through the whole game in one multi-hour sitting, does not jive with the modern style of gameplay. In today's world, games have to fit into a pretty busy lifestyle- this is why all 3 of the current systems let you suspend gameplay at a moment's notice. It's also why the modular 'take me with you' Switch is so damn popular. If you wanna tweak your single-player, offline game so you can re-start from somewhere other than stage 1, you go for it. It's your game.


Now me, I don't use save states becuase I don't emulate. I do, however, straight-up cheat like a mofo! I prefer level select, for obvious reasons, but if that's not an option? I'll take 99 lives & free weapon upgrades & brute force my way through, sure! I mean, obviously I play clean to start, enjoy the game as is- but when I decide it's time to make the credits roll? Off to Game FAQs for some help, cuz nobody got time for this shit no more :D

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2019, 11:43:28 am »
I don't think it's cheating, but I'm wondering what people's thoughts are on save scumming.

I know a lot of folks think save scumming is cheating, but I feel like it's really no different than using save states in general.

I'm a rampant Save Scummer because I play visual novels and usually the most time efficient way to play is making a very organized system of saves at every junction. It can easily save you hours of skipping through text you read previously. X_X

I think some games kind of require save scumming. Like if you lose too many fighters in Fire Emblem you'd seriously be hurting. So it might make a lot of sense sometimes to restart the battle if you botched it up. Also, save scumming away typhoons in Harvest Moon was pretty common among the fan base because it could easily wipe out most of your farm if you're unlucky.

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2019, 12:53:16 pm »
I would consider it cheating, yes. Anything that alters the original gameplay outside of the way it was originally programs is technically cheating if used to get through the game. With that said, i've never had any moral objection to cheating to get through games. I used to do it when I was a kid in order to see levels further in the game that I either wasn't good enough to reach, or the game was so broken and unfair that cheating was likely my only option to get more bang for my buck. In the case of competitions, yes, cheating is not okay, but the vast majority of people that use them are not using them to compete in any way, shape or form.


I use save states sometimes when emulating, but only because I don't have the motivation to go through the whole game again if I have to get up and do something else.

undertakerprime

Re: Are save states in retro games cheating?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2019, 12:56:33 pm »
I use them as time savers.  I’ve made it to this point.  I could do it again, I just don’t have the time.

Yup, this is me.
Years ago, I actually had the time to play a lot and replay sections multiple times until I got it right. I’ve beaten a handful of tough games legit (on the original hardware) so I know I could do it given enough time.
Nowadays, as a *GULP* RESPONSIBLE adult, I rarely have the time to play much. Save states give me a means to finish games I normally wouldn’t be able to devote the time to, or to relive games I’ve already beaten.

As an example, about 25 years ago I beat Revenge of Shinobi in one long session. A few years ago I replayed the game via emulation but used save states to get through it. I knew I could have beaten it again with enough time, save states just make it easier to play in smaller chunks of time.

Funny thing is, I used to use the turbo function on my NES Advantage all the time, but now I wonder if that could be considered cheating  ;D