In the past year, Nintendo leaks have ramped up, especially where Pokémon is involved. For instance, Gold and Silver prototypes from Nintendo’s Space World 1999 event recently surfaced. Now, the leaks are reaching critical mass. As highlighted by a ResetEra thread and various other sources, massive Nintendo leaks are being published to 4chan. Included in the leaks are the source code to Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii, plus assorted unreleased game demos and myriad other items that are still being explored.
The source of these leaks — which were obtained illegally — is still being ascertained. A finger is being pointed at a server hack of BroadOn, a company that developed software and some hardware for Wii, among other Nintendo consoles. There is also some speculation that it may have come from Zammis Clark, otherwise known as Wack0, who hacked Nintendo in 2018 and narrowly avoided prison. Wack0 is the ultimate source of many of the recent Pokémon leaks.
These Nintendo leaks could result in major discoveries
The extreme disregard for the law here in how this information was obtained obviously must be condemned. That being said, however, video game historians and preservationists are poised to discover potentially incredible things in this data. No one has found a “holy grail” like an EarthBound 64 demo in the data yet — but it could be there, waiting to be discovered. YouTuber Sebastian provides a decent summary of some of the events so far in the video below, and he claims there are 2 terabytes of data.
The ResetEra thread lists the following items as potentially being in the Nintendo leaks:
-Source code for boot0/1/2
-Block diagram/datasheets for every system component & Verilog for AES/SHA
-Documents from BroadOn describing feature planning and implementation + APIs + docs for internal software
-Full IOS SDK
-Source code for IOS (IOS is the Wii Operating System)
-Planning docs for implementation of the system from 2004-2006
-some wii sdk library source code (DVD, EXI)
-source code and info on manufacturing and publishing systems
-some misc. nintendo stuff (internal WPAD SDK from 2005, Wii Overview from RVL_SDK 1.0)
-“sdboot”, a special manufacturing version of boot2 which loads data from the SD card; is very buggy and likely exploitable for boot2 code execution on all Wiis (it is retail signed)
-gamecube and ique stuff as well (internal gamecube docs including physical disc layout, massive 2GB+ iQue dump including full CVS for that as well)
Incidentally though, the Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii source code are likely to be treated as a novelty more than anything. Developers of console emulators like Dolphin outright refuse to look at data like this in order to stay in good legal standing (which is a difficult standing for emulator developers to have in the first place).
For now, we just watch and wait to see what else these Nintendo leaks yield. It could be just a bunch of little oddities, or it could yield something crazy we’ve never seen for Mario or some other franchise. Stay tuned!