For years now, the TASBot team has shown time and again that tool-assisted speedruns—which can feature superhuman input speeds powered by frame-by-frame emulator recordings—can actually work on unmodified console hardware. Thus far, though, TASBot’s efforts have focused on defunct retro consoles from the Atari 2600 up through the Gamecube and Nintendo DS.
This weekend, TASBot will finally take its talents into the modern gaming era, showing off expert-level Super Mario Maker 2 gameplay on an actual Switch during the livestreamed Awesome Games Done Quick speedrunning marathon. And this time, the TASBot team is taking pains to make sure no one else can copy its method—to hopefully avoid Nintendo’s potential legal ire in the process.
Flipping the Switch
The effort to let a Linux computer take external control of a Switch game began a bit inadvertently back in 2018, when the TASBot team attempted to partner with the AbleGamers charity. Their goal was to create an Arduino interface that would allow inputs (and pre-recorded input macros) from any controller to be re-mapped into input signals for any console interface.