You may or may not be up-to-date with the news that a recent hack on Nintendo servers resulted in some (rumoured 2tb) downloads being taken, including some old N64 unreleased games, unscoured data and lots of other programs, ROMs and features….
It looks like the leak originated from iQue, who was a Chinese partner of Nintendo’s who produced official “clone” systems such as the iQue version of the N64, and helped get Nintendo hardware sold in China back when the Chinese were looking to ban foreign videogames.
People are picking through it at the moment, and if half of this is true – this is possibly the biggest “leak” in Nintendo’s history.
So far they (claim) to have found:
- Early Wii technical documentation and SDK
- Gamecube SDK
- Gamecube prototypes
- N64 SDK
- N64 Prototypes
- N64 DD Prototypes
- N64 Game source code
- N64 Complete Verilog files
- Timing and business plans
- Pokemon source code
What does this mean?
So this is where things get messy.
if it’s true that a complete set of Verilog files for the N64 have leaked, it’s a huge deal, as the hardware has up until now held onto its many secrets which have made it the bane of emulator authors for decades. To put this into simple terms, Someone could throw these on a big enough FPGA chip and we would have perfect emulation, or a factory could use them to manufacture clone systems.
Legally, however, these files cannot and must not come into contact with emulation authors. Emulators are legal only when created in a cleanroom environment. So you are allowed to reverse engineer stuff to figure it out, but the moment you even read leaked technical documentation, any works based on that are also now deemed illegal.
But of course, it’s a grey area – CEMU suddenly made a ton of amazing progress shortly after the Wii U SDK leaked, which is rumoured to be why they don’t release the source code for it.
I’m sure others are probably more hyped about the possibility of those fabled prototypes (Mario 128, Mother 64 etc) possibly being in here.
(source McCheese (NeoGaf))
A ResetEra user by the name of Atheerios breaks it down a bit more:-
As you may be aware, in the last few weeks in 4chan multiple Nintendo-related old things have been leaking, starting with old Pokémon debug ROMs and source code, then most recent 3DS debug ROMs, then keys for all consoles up until the DSi and now the biggest of them all: the full source code, design files, documentation and pretty much everything used to create the Revolution, aka Wii.
The servers of BroadOn were apparently hacked – BroadOn are a company hired by Nintendo (when the Wii was peaking!) to develop hardware and software. The same post above goes on to explain how “the biggest and craziest thing” about the leak are the datasheets, block diagram, and Verilog files for every component:
Verilog is a hardware description language; is used to describe circuits via code, so with this we can learn how every single piece of the Wii was made.
There is even some “gamecube and iQue stuff” within the same leak, this video below is believed to be a demo ROM used by Nintendo to test the system:
Now other than the underbelly of the internet, you may find some things going on over in 4chan, or other parts of 4chan, or by checking out Mega.NZ , as well as reddit and seeing what you can find out there – keep us posted in the comments here or on our FaceBook page, we’d love to hear what you have found!