I can't read this without thinking that I have wasted a life that could have been better spent synthesizing shell code out of the precise contents of Yoshi's mouth.
I see what you did there.
Think about how many hard-earned coins and power ups could potentially be lost due to malware that takes advantage of this vulnerability.
After I read the last sentence, I imagined 10-year-old me playing Super Mario Brothers and suddenly freaking out because all my coins were just hacked and stolen.
Here's their live run with them explaining what is happening: http://www.twitch.tv/speeddemosarchivesda/b/492923053?t=10h2...
Are all 'accepted' TASs tested in a similar way?
This is why it's so bloody impressive.
On the right side of the screen each letter lighting up represents a controller input (l is left, r is right etc)
Each line represents a gamepad controller (virtual in this case). When you see multiple lines it means multiple controllers (I am assuming this, as later there is more than 8 contollers active which is strange)
Whats happening is a script running to glitch the game from the start into a certain state, beginning of the video until 1:40, then it looks like an exploit happens of the previous glitches in memory, followed quickly after by a massive data load that is the code for the pong/snake demos that follow.
> This run uses two multitaps in port 1 and port 2 which allows for 8 controllers (1-1, 1-2 ,1-3, 1-4, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4) of which 4 are used (1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2) for the last input.
Specifically, some objects in-game have pointers to code associated with them ("what to do if this block gets hit by a turtle shell", that sort of thing). The P-switch has one of these pointers assigned to a very special value by coincidence: its pointer points to the memory location where button presses are mapped. This pointer is never supposed to be followed, but by making a bunch of objects very carefully the authors can glitch the game into jumping to that memory address. Once execution is there, they can write a bootloader by making sure the button inputs on each frame correspond to the correct opcodes, letting them execute arbitrary code that they write in on the controller port.
I wasn't involved in the production of this TAS, so I'm not an expert, but that's my understanding of what's going on.
Now, there's people coding games in that game by playing it.
I thought myself a gamer.