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A Profanity-Laced Video Game Password That Breaks Everything (minimaxir.com)
146 points by minimaxir on May 18, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 14 comments



Interesting. I'd heard that the "Justin Bailey" password referred specifically to Samus' swimsuit, since "Bailey" is an Australian term for swimsuit, and the password could actually be read "Just In Bailey."

So... weird coincidence? Or Aussies on the dev team? :)`


Strong evidence that Justin Bailey isn't a real password comes from the game state it yields, which is impossible by normal means. Samus has 255 missiles current but 205 max, and there are some other inconsistencies like missiles acquired behind doors that remain locked.

It's just a wild coincidence that it happens to yield a Samus unarmored and with most of the powerups in the game. Any tales that Justin Bailey was a Nintendo developer or playtester, or anything about the swimsuit, are just fan inventions and retcon (a good deal of which was spread by Nintendo Power itself.)

Of course the password must have had some real origin, someone found it sometime. Maybe someone goofing around typed in his own name or a friend's and got really surprised, or some really sharp 6502 hacker puzzled it out as a combination from reading the assembly code. (This was possible in the industry even back in that day, it's how Galoob produced Game Genie codes.) We'll never truly know, as any true claim would get lost in the forest of noise and urban legends.

It would actually be pretty trivial nowadays to brute-force search for all combinations of 6-letter words that pass the Metroid password checksum. I recall seeing that online somewhere but can't find it now.


Coincidence. The swimsuit is supposed to be unlocked by beating the game in under an hour.

http://www.vgmuseum.com/end/nes/b/met.htm


when i was a kid i unlocked the swimsuit by playing the game normally.

i don't think i beat the game in under an hour, but I did think I did beat it twice (beating it takes you back to the beginning).

funny nobody seems to be mentioning this... i didn't have access to nintendo power or any other cheat resources, so yeah, pretty supprising to find out my character was a girl at the end :P


first female video game protagonist?

(upon further research, apparently that honor goes to Ms. Pacman)

It blew my mind when I was about 8 years old, in a good way though. I still find it an interesting choice to leave the gender reveal to the end, playing upon our (or mine) expectations and trivializing gender all along the path to defeating Mother Brain!


Weird coincidence. The password system had checksum variables so that it would be very unlikely for a password someone enters to be valid. However Justin Bailey just happens to succeed that checksum and also the game thinks it's a valid password it has generated. There is no coding within the game to make Justin Bailey specifically work.


As an Australian, I've never heard a swimsuit referred to as a "bailey".

"Bathers" perhaps...


The Metriod wiki also mentions this explanation; then promptly debunks it: http://metroid.wikia.com/wiki/Justin_Bailey

BTW, I prefer cossies :p


That's what I heard wayyy back in the 90's too. I subscribe to the theory that it was a Nintendo tester with an apropos name.

I didn't say it in the post, but NARPAS SWORD, unlike Justin Bailey, is specifically coded into the game.


In fact, the Justin Bailey password is also a completely coincidental password. Sometimes, passwords can just do very unexpected things.

20th century Shakespeare typewriting monkeys!! :)


This reminded me of a password for the original Metal Gear that will start you very close to the end.

FUCK1 MEEEE EEEEE EEEEE EEEEE

(This is not the same as the better known FUCKM E1111 11111 11111 11111 password - you start with more stuff.)


Because this locks up the 3DS in what should be a sandboxed environment, this may have implications in the field of reverse engineering the 3DS's anti priacy systems and getting working game backups running.

There has to be some kind of memory leak or memory protection error for this to happen.


"You may be asking “did someone at Nintendo actually program a consequence for profanity in the game? Is the glitching and crashing a punishment for the perverse player?”"

That is indeed what I thought, thinking back to what would oft happen if you typed swears into text adventures - http://www.monkeon.co.uk/swearadventure/


Nintendo did eventually create a game with consequences for swearing. (Animal Crossing)




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