It’s at 1:39 in the video where things real­ly start going pear-shaped, as the fab­ric of the game’s real­i­ty comes apart at the seams for a few sec­onds before inex­plic­a­bly tran­si­tion­ing to Mario-themed ver­sions of Pong and Snake. […] Suf­fice it to say that the first minute-and-a-half or so of this TAS is mere­ly an effort to spawn a spe­cif­ic set of sprites into the game’s Object Attribute Mem­o­ry (OAM) buffer in a spe­cif­ic order. The TAS run­ner then uses a stun glitch to spawn an unused sprite into the game, which in turn caus­es the sys­tem to treat the sprites in that OAM buffer as raw exe­cutable code. In this case, that code has been arranged to jump to the mem­o­ry loca­tion for con­troller data, in essence let­ting the user insert what­ev­er exe­cutable pro­gram he or she wants into mem­o­ry by con­vert­ing the bina­ry data for pre­cise­ly ordered but­ton press­es into assem­bly code.

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Kars Alfrink

Kars is a designer, researcher and educator focused on emerging technologies, social progress and the built environment.