The source code for a game is a pretty precious commodity. Games like Super Mario 64, Super Mario World, and others are always the targets of groups trying to reverse engineer the games. Whether that’s because of preservation reasons or some other reason. In multiple recent leaks, first-party Nintendo games and some third-party games have been leaked onto the internet. Some are rejoicing about the fact that they mysteries of Super Mario 64 and other games can be dug up. Modern Vintage Gamer on Youtube, had two fantastic videos describing how both of these leaks worked.
It turns out that the Super Nintendo leaks were more fruitful (at the moment) for juicy details or lost code in games. People who were expecting to see conspiracy theories about their favorite Nintendo 64 games are going to be disappointed. As MVG talks about, these games source code aren’t from the actual Nintendo 64 releases. They’re from a very obscure Chinese console called the IQue.
What The Hell Is An IQue?
The IQue was a Chinese proprietary Nintendo 64 made in the early 2000’s. It was made because of China’s ban on video game consoles. So the console wasn’t actually a console, but more of a plug-and-play device. It stored all the games on a 64 MB flash card that plugs into the bottom of the controller. It only had 14 games. Those 14 games are conincidentally, the ones in the massive Nintendo 64 leak.
The 14 games referenced in that leak are: Wave Race 64, Star Fox 64, Dr. Mario 64, Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Mario Kart 64, F-Zero X, Yoshi’s Story, Paper Mario, Sin and Punishment, Excitebike 64, Super Smash Bros., Custom Robo, and Animal Crossing. The IQue is an interesting experiment that was designed to curb piracy in China on games. Now it’s an interesting piece of history for Nintendo collectors and apart of this huge leak.
Super Mario 64 Highlights The N64 Leak
So yes, if you’ve been following Nintendo 64 news over the past couple months, the internet is alight with ideas of “Ghost Wario”, Luigi being in the game, and that every copy of Super Mario 64 is personalized to players. While two of those are just creepypasta posts, the Luigi one has some merit. This leak unfortunately doesn’t prove that Luigi is in the game. Yes, there are textures and audio for Luigi’s player model in the game’s files. But, these files aren’t in the actual game, they’re just extra files. It makes sense why these would be in.
In development, Nintendo was planning on making a two-player mode for Super Mario 64. This would mean that Luigi would be the second player. So his files are in the game, but all of the conspiracy theories and pictures you’re probably seeing on the internet are either fake or mods of the recent port of Super Mario 64 to the PC. It’s definitely disappointing that we didn’t get some sort of goldmine from this recent leak. The source codes of the games are also incomplete, so they can’t be fully reverse engineered. The progress of the Super Mario 64 Reverse Engineering team continues.
What About The Other Leaks? Are The Super Nintendo Ones Legit?
If you’re looking for a goldmine of information and treasure, the Super Nintendo leaks are for you. In addition to the source codes, there are plenty of files that show early models for Yoshi in Super Mario World, early music for Super Castlevania IV, and prototypes for Super Mario Kart. It’s really an astounding amount of content that is in this “Gigaleak”. It goes to show how impressive it is that Nintendo can keep all of their information and source codes over time like this. In addition to the Super Nintendo, there were source codes and leaks for Nintendo DS, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games.
The reason why I’m excited for all of these leaks are not so that people can use them for nefarious means. It’s because it’s great that these games can now be fully preserved. If all the cartridges in the world stop working, we have the original code of the games. They can be preserved. The inner nerd and child of me, is going back to when I first played these games. It’s wild to think about all this extra stuff that was in these games. Hearing an early version of “Simon’s Theme” from Super Castlevania IV (It’s in MVG’s first video on this leak at around 4:45 mark).
Someone Is Going To Get Savaged By Nintendo
This all means that Nintendo is going to try to stop all of this from happening. They’re a notoriously stingy company for anything that doesn’t fall in their official Nintendo banner. They don’t want people to be able to profit or use their games for free. Which makes sense as a company, no one wants to lose money on things. Nintendo hasn’t made an official comment about these leaks, and I doubt they will. Their legal teams are probably hunting after whoever leaked the information.
What we do know about all of this is that there is plenty more to come. These leaks were incomplete versions of the games, and if someone has the complete source codes of Super Nintendo games, it’s likely that they have complete versions of Nintendo 64 and Gamecube games. It’s not the last we’re going to see of this.
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Source: Modern Vintage Gamer