Zelda ROM Hacking

Brandon Dillon modifies The Legend of Zelda's code as he is playing it

(It’s Video Game Week on the Iceberg! New posts every day this week with in-depth niche topics relating to video games!)

This is an eye opening video for anyone who wants to know more about how video games actually work. In Part 4 of this series (parts 1, 2, and 3 are spent taking apart the physical cartridge), Brandon Dillon (developer of Hack n Slash) loads the software of Legend of Zelda into an emulator and picks apart the game code, modifying it as he’s playing to do things like give himself infinite health or skip around the level.

Now, the goal isn’t just to cheat at the game — it’s to learn something about how it’s put together by reverse engineering it. And untangling that mystery is a captivating adventure in and of itself.