When left solely to its devices, the speedrunning community can get up to some downright strange stuff, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time speedrunners are no exception. This time, they perfected a trick called Arbitrary Code Execution (ACE) that grants near-total access to the game’s underlying code, meaning that certain vestigial relics chilling out in there can now be summoned without any external mods or cheats.
While this tactic was initially used to shatter last July’s then-world record, people are already finding other creative uses for ACE. It’s pretty well known that the developers of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time used Star Fox 64‘s Arwings to test out Z-targeting and Volvagia flight patterns. The ships function pretty comparably to their own game, firing lasers at Link and crashing to the ground in fiery explosions when hit a couple of times with a boomerang. Left in the game’s code, the Arwing models have been summoned before thanks to mods, but this is the first time that they’ve flown in without any outside forces. If you have not seen the Arwings appear in-game before, check out this Twitch clip from yesterday with the ACE-spawned ships in action.
Zfg1’s Twitch clip also gives a quick rundown of how this is accomplished on a vanilla game cart. A description on the side of their video feed reads, “[b]y doing ACE three times with different specific filenames, you can remove the character limit on the file name creation. With no character limit, you can type in any payload you want, at any length. With this you can do basically anything, and [it] is known as Total Control.”