So, the first part you might be a little more familiar with because this whole situation has been going on since early this year, with bits and pieces slowly trickling through here and there. These were a bunch of files from Nintendo that were leaked on 4chan (don’t go there to check, not worth it, I’m writing this so you don’t have to). The leak itself contained all kinds of things dating from roughly the Wii all the way back to the NES. So, nothing super recent, you’re not gonna find out about Nintendo’s next big game or anything, but honestly? This is a million times more interesting.
/v/ discovers Luigi in super mario 64 files during the gigaleak and collectively loses their minds pic.twitter.com/S6UdtuKYLq
— 🤠frango🤠 (@FrangusMcDangus) July 26, 2020
So what’s in it?
A lot! Which is why it’s so exciting! There’s full source code/emulator data for the Wii and Gamecube, as well as the source code for a bunch of games, most of which are prototypes of their finished versions or games that never came out at all. Though the majority of the leaks are for prototypes of SNES and Nintendo 64 games.
The catch to all of this, though, is that it’s all raw data. This means someone, or more accurately as to what’s happening, a bunch of people have to sift through it, recompile it, and turn it into something we can actually look at. This is easy enough to do for images and certain pieces of code, but it might still be a little while, if at all, before we get a full working version of, say, the Super Mario 64 beta.
And in case you were wondering about authenticity, this is a lot to fake. This would be a completely bonkers amount of effort for any sane human being, or even a team of sane human beings. There’s just too much data from too many obscure games and sources, not to mention ex-Nintendo employees making comments about pieces they worked on. Though Nintendo themselves haven’t issued any kind of official statement.
Wtf – I haven’t seen this tool I made for StarFox 2 for almost 30 years, I wrote it in early c++ to teach myself the language more than anything else. Where the hell have hackers got all this obscure data from????!! https://t.co/9kN9UoQPMS
— Dylan🗑️🗑️🗑️Scrappers is OUT! (@dylancuthbert) July 24, 2020
As of right now, there’s no singular source of information other than folks like me compiling lists. Basically you have to go through Twitter because a lot of folks are compiling things separately, likely based on their own interests. Though it will all be trawled through eventually, at which point someone might make something more comprehensive. So at this stage, there’s a steady trickle of new information at all times.
Let’s start with a little of what we’ve seen so far for the SNES. Not all of it’s been put together yet, but the confirmed games that have data in the files are: F-Zero, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario Allstars (including Super Mario World), Star Fox, Star Fox 2, Super Mario World 2 (Super Mario World: Yoshi’s Island), WildTrax (Stunt Race FX) and Dragonfly (Pilotwings). Though there’s also a few extra bits and pieces, like Link’s Awakening DX (for Gameboy) and some virtual console code for the Wii.
Dated from July 1994, this is possibly the first, or one of the first 3D model Nintendo ever made of Link, as an experiment on the Super FX chip. (colors were manually added). pic.twitter.com/0tV6DGaUjH
— Starxxon (@vl_tone) July 25, 2020
So here he is. It is now largely assumed that this particular Link sheet comes from a scrapped BS Zelda 2 remake. (for Satellaview) There's some interesting details here, like the blood or rust on the sword. Fascinating stuff. https://t.co/xPnEiLPI5v pic.twitter.com/FBlvt8TF4A
— Brian (@Protodude) July 25, 2020
— Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) July 24, 2020
I still can't believe we have actual graphics data for Dragonfly of all things now. today's been like some kind of weird fever dream pic.twitter.com/FJcNy0JtQZ
— Rusty! 🏳️🌈 ᵇˡᵐ (@PixelatedWah) July 25, 2020
Lots of interesting discoveries in here, including a pre-alpha (?) build of Yoshi's Island called "Super Donkey" that starred a character who looked suspiciously like Stanley the Bugman from Donkey Kong 3. Someone needs to CTRL + F for the original Donkey Kong Country CGI models. https://t.co/PVxYd7vFb7 pic.twitter.com/e5AbzNVaR6
— Kremling Kampaigner (@KRoolKountry) July 24, 2020
These leaks are probably my personal favourites, given I grew up with an N64 as opposed to the SNES, and that some of these betas have been the dream for… Well. Since the internet was a thing, basically. Before the game even came out with screenshots of areas not in the final product. It’s very exciting! Contained in these leaks are files for Super Mario 64 (referred to as Super Mario 6 or Ultra 64 Mario Brothers in the files) which include a fully controllable Luigi (meaning L really WAS real… 2401…), bits and pieces that could be from the project that was being called Ura Zelda (basically an addon pack for Ocarina of Time), as well as the source code, Star Fox 64 and other games.
Here's a few more. pic.twitter.com/xAjv69KsAJ
— 87Nジほブeぞ (@MrCheeze_) July 26, 2020
For the last 24 hours, we've made massive progress.
Yesterday, I found what I interpret as boss rush dungeon scenes in OoT's source. These scenes are micro-dungeons that have between 2-4 rooms, each ending with the boss chamber. Files have DD in their names, perhaps 64DD tests? pic.twitter.com/ecRPDw1qvi
— Psi-Hate (@Psi_Hate) July 27, 2020
Came from 4chan, beta outside ToT adult, this is wild. pic.twitter.com/1gn2OsOT3v
— Gaby (@gabyelnuevo) July 26, 2020
oh my god it's the fucking render on the box art of mario 64 holy shittt pic.twitter.com/bviG8GlFfi
— 🐞beetle🐞1312#B L M (@luigi_ebooks) July 25, 2020
Luigi assembly completed! pic.twitter.com/zLaemxVow3
— Bapanada (@Padabana) July 25, 2020
Of course, you can’t have a good leak without a good bit of controversy to follow. And there’s a lot of it. Some of it comes entirely internally, with remnants of old bits of code and the like containing all kinds of very personal notes:
the real reason star fox 2 got cancelled and never released was because its staff was too busy focusing on internal drama on *checks notes*
— Kaitlyn Molinas (@orcastraw) July 25, 2020
Other folks are frustrated that what is essentially their personal way of writing code, as well as their personal notes, are being aired to the public. Which is absolutely fair enough.
On the other hand, certain developers see leaks this massive and begin taking measures to be more secretive about their own projects, which means we, the public, get less information about betas and prototypes through official sources, which in turn could lead to more leaks in retaliation and we have a sort of never ending cycle.
Though there is of course the argument that a lot of this is around 30 years old and, being from games that historic, are important pieces of history the public deserves to know about, even if it was obtained illegally.
It’s certainly a difficult topic, regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, but honestly? We got this in perfect original quality so I’m not going to complain:
THIS IS THE ORIGINAL "DO A BARREL ROLL" VOICE LINE FROM STAR FOX 64
U N C O M P R E S S E D pic.twitter.com/94VXbypksB
— Mattt 🦐 (@MatttGFX) July 25, 2020