Wednesday , May 19 2021

This amazing glitch puts Star Fox 64 ships in an unmodified Zelda cartridge, Ars Technica

      Do a barrel roll, Link –

             

“Stale-reference manipulation,” – character file names, and a clash between worlds.

      

      

, (long-secret codes ) arbitrary code execution tricks buried within some classic games and hardware. But none of that prepared me for the above Twitch video clip I saw this morning , showing a fleet of flying Arwings from (Star Fox) invading the world of Ocarina of Time to attack Link .

It’s the kind of scene you’d expect to see only in a fan-made animation, or in a ROM hack of the type Nintendo is so fond of taking down from the Internet . But what made this clip truly impressive was the fact that it was apparently running on an unmodified version of the original Japanese Ocarina of Time ROM, using standard N hardware and control accessories.

I spent all morning tracking down how such a thing was even possible. Explaining it all involves a bit of a deep dive into the nature of Nintendo machine language instructions, (Ocarina of Time) memory management, and the mid – ‘650 s development of the game itself. If you’re as curious about all this as I was, come and take a journey with me.

The key glitch to this amazing run dates back to last October, when a runner named Glitches0and0stuff used emulators and careful examination of Nintendo memory locations to (discover a method for stale-reference manipulation ) in Ocarina of Time

.

Basically, the glitch involves picking up an item and then tricking the game into unloading it right from Link’s hands when he crosses a loading threshold (say, for a new room). At this point the game frees up the memory location for that held object, so it can be used by other in-game objects as they’re loaded. But the game also still thinks Link is holding something

in his hands, so it continues to update that “stale reference” pointer in the newly freed memory with data representing the nonexistent object’s position and angle. With some careful manipulation, this pointer can now be used to “corrupt” the data for a newly loaded object with arbitrary values.

                                                                     

                      Space fighters are no match for an elfen boy.

                                                                                           

                               

                                                                     

                      The Star Fox Arwings can take damage and fire on Link as if they were always in the game.

                                                                                           

                                                              

or changing the positions of other in-room items (as explained in detail here

By inserting a specific code in this way, the game can first jump to the memory location that holds the last known X and Y rotation values ​​for the in-game slingshot. If those

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