On teh intarwebs I found a breakdown of the password save system for the original Metroid. It reads like a technical whitepaper and seems pretty straightforward to construct your own passwords if you so desire.

I sort of inspected a few of my games that used a password save system and noticed patterns that let me modify them. For instance, in Mega Man 2 I collected E Tanks only(did nothing else) and noticed what happened to the password. Collecting the maximum amount and noticing the password allowed me to create a password where at any point I could refill my character back to maximum E Tanks. I was able to do the same to a few other games as well and it was always fun to hack the game this way.

John David Ratliff seems to take this one step higher and lets the entire algorithm out of the bag. I wonder how long this took? Did you ever spend time reverse engineering your passwords to get an advantage?

Oh and the Metroid comic above has been making the rounds online as well and I though it was pretty fun.

Happy Retro Tuesday!

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 10/24/2012 at 06:48pm

I never reversed engineered passwords, but I did like to enter random ones in to see what, if anything, would happen. Similar to the Game Genie post from a while back.

Travis   Admin wrote on 10/25/2012 at 12:37am

I kinda wish I had done some trial and error like that now. I wonder if there are any more game specific guides out there for old games so you can start with a bajillion lives or whatever.

I did notice that punch out seemed to have entirely random passwords. I had a password for Mr. Dream and then lost to him, and the password it gave me was entirely different. Theoretically I should have just had one more loss on my record.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 10/25/2012 at 03:00am

The password system could be very sequential but then they use some kind of one off simple encryption / scramble to make it seem randomish.

If you want to join this conversation you need to sign in.
Sign Up / Log In