Paper Mario speedrunner uses Ocarina of Time bug to set new record
A new Paper Mario speedrun world record has been set, and it’s all thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Don’t worry, this will make sense in a minute.
Speedrunner JCog released the new record breaking 54 minute 22 second video with an explanation of What the hell is happening to Pastebin. Here’s the basic setup: Speedrunners recently discovered an issue that would allow them to overwrite portions of Paper Mario’s game code while it was running, allowing what the community calls Arbitrary Code Execution, or ACE. Unfortunately, accessing this problem with just a copy of Paper Mario and your controller requires some incredibly precise input.
Turns out there is another way, thanks to a known issue of Ocarina of Time and the magic of the Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak. Here is the high level explanation of the JCOG:
“We use ACE in OoT to write code into memory which we can reach with a problem in Paper Mario after quickly swapping out cartridges, then this code allows us to write more code with our filenames which twists us up. ‘at the end of the game. It probably won’t be allowed in the leaderboard (and it shouldn’t be), but it’s pretty cool. “
Messing around very carefully in Ocarina of Time, you can leave some instructions about the additional RAM of the Expansion Pak (although no game is actually designed to use it). See it as a key to the Paper Mario ACE problem. Then, if you turn off the console and immediately change Paper Mario, that key persists on the Expansion Pak and you can use it to unlock the Metaphorical Door until the game ends.
Whatever categories of speedruning it may or may not fall into, it’s an incredible feat to understand and manipulate games on their own level.
See where Paper Mario (and Ocarina of Time) list best n64 games all time.