One of the highlights of the past couple Games Done Quick marathons is the showcase of ACE tricks. ACE stands for “Arbitrary Code Execution” and it’s a method of using a glitch to allow the user to manipulate a video game’s data in real time, allowing for theoretically anything to happen. These are usually accomplished with the help of a TASBot (a program that automatically inputs pre-determined data into a game), because the act of entering the code is usually too complicated for a human.
Here’s an ACE trick that will knock your socks off: it begins in Pokemon Yellow, but after the code is entered, where it stops is anybody’s guess. That’s the only hint you get; the video is best experienced spoiler-free.
This is so impressive that you might wonder why its author didn’t save the public demonstration for a GDC marathon. It wouldn’t be allowed there because it runs off an emulator and GDC only uses real hardware (except in the case of arcade games). So while what we’re seeing is technically running on Game Boy code, it’s enhanced by whatever computer the “Game Boy” is being emulated on.
The trick’s author, MrWint, published an elaborate description of how he pulled off all this, including the audio at the end which would normally be almost impossible even for an emulation. Read it here if you’re interested.
To see a demonstration of game-swapping on a real Game Boy, check out this next video. The trick here is somewhat different — the cartridges are physically being swapped. Normally that would result in a bugged-out mess, but with ACE, the user can write in code that allows Pokemon to seamlessly boot into any other game, and even manipulate the game being loaded. Check it out…
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