The “holy grail of video game hacking” might have been found in Super Mario World. In a new video from SethBling, a popular streamer and speedrunner, he goes in-depth on how he and a group of hackers developed a way to edit mods into Super Mario World, without modifying the cartridge itself.
A save corruption glitch discovered by a streamer named Cooper Harrysn was the first step in jailbreaking the game.
How it works if “if you load certain data into the internal storage of a Super Mario World cartridge, you can trick the game into running custom code,” SethBling explained. Both streamers then worked to create a hex editor to then load onto a cartridge.
Using that editor allows players to input various codes right into the game, like various mods that sound apt for speedrunners. Players can “directly edit Mario’s power-up state,” for example, or extend the in-game timer. There’s even a mod developed by hacker p4plus2 that turns Mario into a telekinetic monster; SethBling’s used it to show off how the hex editor works both in this video and a livestream from earlier this week.
What’s really unique about this hack is that it’s persistent; since it alters Super Mario World’s save data, players won’t have to reinstall the jailbreak to access the hex editor every time. It’s also not too hard to install, for those who have all the necessary stuff: a Super Nintendo, a copy of Super Mario World, three controllers (and a way to clamp their buttons down) and two multi-taps to connect all of those controllers. The whole process should take an hour, according to SethBling.
Watch the installation process below to see how the whole thing works; it’s a fascinating look at a huge new find for the game hacking community.