It's ok, this isn't one of those thinkpieces with a controversial title where we tell you that Paper Mario sucks and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is way better. No, the title is literally what we mean: it's a speedrunning tactic called Arbitrary Code Execution, and it's absolutely bonkers.
We've covered Arbitrary Code Execution, or ACE, before - it's a speedrunning trick that allows players to manipulate the game's code, and therefore complete the game faster than ever - or just to spawn a bunch of Arwings in Kakariko Village.
The latest game to fall prey to the ACE technique is Paper Mario, which streamer JCog beat in 54:22 - a new world record for Paper Mario Any% runs that's almost twice as fast as the next runner-up.
"For anyone wondering, no, this most likely will not be the new Any% route since it requires memory manipulation with OoT, but there's a good chance we'll add it to the category extensions board.
Either way, it is technically the fastest Paper Mario has ever been beaten by a human using only official Nintendo hardware."
This Paper Mario run is unusual, though, not because of its speed, but because 30 of those 54 minutes are actually spent playing Ocarina of Time. JCog's speedrun of Paper Mario mostly takes place in the world of Hyrule for one simple reason - as WarChamp7 puts it, "OoT is so f*****g busted open people are breaking other games with it now."
To put it in layman's terms: the speedrunner can use Ocarina of Time to write code using ACE that will warp them straight to the credits in Paper Mario, but to execute this neat trick, they will have to swap the game cartridges mid-speedrun with split-second timing.
Ocarina of Time wipes the memory of the Expansion Pak when it boots, but Paper Mario doesn't, so if the speedrunner can turn off the console and swap the two cartridges during the 1 or 2 seconds that the Nintendo 64 still has residual power, then the code that they wrote in Ocarina of Time will be loaded into Paper Mario, and the speedrunner will be taken straight to the credits after doing a bunch of precise movements, including hammering the ground a lot.
There is one problem, though - JCog didn't blow on the cartridge before inserting it. He may have set a new world record, but does it really count if he didn't get all the gunk out first?
Can yall also talk about how people are also speed running mario with a gun LOL.
Well that’s utterly mad. Just goes to show that all those years of OoT being totally broken have spilled over into other communities.
Haha this is wild.
This was being done years ago with Pokemon Red and Mario Land 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL_Zuc0tlvo for a video on it.) So while its still really cool, its nothing new.
The true Stop N' Swop
I love stuff like this, what a cool trick!
Reminds me of when this happened:
Always makes me scratch my head and wonder how people stumble upon these glitches?!
Kate, i've read some weird articles. But this? This takes the cake and throws it in the lobster tank at the supermarket
Every time I see this stuff, I think how the whole speedrunning thing only makes sense among nerds, especially when encountered in JRPGs.
Then I remember FFIX and Excalibur 2. Well, devs are nerds, too.
Just like Miyamoto intended
I don't even know why l watched this when middle of important work xD But l skipped around so thats good
@1ofUs weird good, right? Not weird bad? 😅
I tried quite hard to understand what was happening in the video so I could explain it, but good lord this stuff is complicated
@Mr_Persona I skipped ahead when I first watched it, and it turned into a DIFFERENT GAME. Very confusing when you don't know what's happening!
The ACE stuff is beyond my understanding lol. Like I already barely get half the speed running stuff I see but this is just insane
I love stuff like this. It is so utterly absurd to me that it‘s comical!
I don‘t watch a lot of speedruns but the history of some world records is entertaining as hell. If you’re interested in the topic I highly recommend watching Summoning Salt and Karl Jobst on YouTube.
Sounds like what Japanese players were doing with Super Mario Bros. and Tennis on the Famicom back in the day (which wouldn't work on NES because of the added lockout).
The fastest way to beat Paper Mario is with a shredder.
Well thats something!
Although in my eyes, thats a Speedrun in the same way watching a travel documentary is considered taking a holiday.
@BloodNinja This video answers that question pretty well
How do people even discover this stuff?
@nessisonett in this case, the "broke" is paper Mario. Wipe the memory is a turning on job and Paper Mario doesn't. But i'm asking myself how they discover this
Not gonna lie, that title got me.
But seriously, I've seen a lot of cool speedrunning tricks but this is easily one of the craziest. I'm fascinated by stuff like this!
[visible confused Bobb sounds?]
@KateGray yes weird good
Older N64 don't delete Informations as fast as newer Models do.
So some Code stays in there.
Seems like it is Information that helps them in to proceed faster in another Game.
Its the same Trick Rare wanted to use for their Swapn Thingy.
Nice to see such Curiosity.
But it is cheating at the End
An Action Replay does the same.
People blow on N64 carts? I only ever saw people do that with NES games.
@YoungLink64 I never actually thought about it until this comment, but Link and Mario never really have linked up together outside of smash. He does it with Dk all the time (I mean I know he got his start there), but a oragami legend of Zelda game actually sounds like it would be great.
@KateGray actually hats off for even watching it in the whole. I just want my time back. If someone finds a way to break a game by simple inputs they figured out themselves, fair enough. But going through the code is just lame cheating in my opinion. A lot of work, I have to admit. But just not my understanding of beating a game. They might be good coders later, though. Fair enough for the effort, I guess.
Still, to me it's pointless and boring to watch. I'm old.
Wait, what? WAIT WHAT?
In any case of speedrunning or competition, the use of external modification tools is usually grounds for disqualification.
And, I believe even Ocarina of Time would count in this case! It's external to Paper Mario after all!
This is witchcraft. I don't even care if it counts as "beating the game". It's an amazing hack.
@jbreez00 You’re in luck! Before they battled in Super Smash Bros., Link could be found sleeping in an inn in Super Mario RPG.
And a year prior, if the player had under a certain amount of DK coins in Donkey Kong Country 2, Mario and Link shared a podium in Cranky’s museum.
And several years before even that, if the player scores a certain amount in Type B in Tetris for the NES, among several others cameos, Link can be found playing the ocarina while Mario and Luigi perform a questionable dance.
Can you not hot swap with the power on?
@FX102A exactly. I've never understood how people qualify this type of thing as a speedrun.
@Trajan no, it like locks the cartridge in there, IIRC. Or it at least feels like your breaking the cart if u try to take a it out of n64 w/o turning the power off.
@Trajan Nope, hot swapping can destroy the data, and often does. It also wont boot up the next game.
@superderper yes, yes they did, but it may get dust and gunk out, but it also damaged the hardware of the game... so, most people just kept to modern day cartridges because you don’t have to blow on it.
When people take the cartridge out when it’s playing the game it makes me so nervous. Sure he turned it off, but it didn’t even turn off all the way before he took it out put the next one in and turned it on, He did it in less than two seconds. 😬😬😬
@Trajan because you turn off the console, which unlocks the cartridge, remove the zelda cartridge, and put the mario cartridge in there.
the older models of N64 cleaned the RAM after 10seconds after the console was turned off, so if you did it and turned the console on within the 10seconds the ram wouldnt be erased
the newer models cleaned it after 1second tho so its not possible on these
Tap here to load 38 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...