December 17th, 2003


Hacking My Way To Zelda

Nintendo has a promotion for their GameCube systems this holiday season, packing them with a special "Legend of Zelda" collector's disc with full versions of four of their older Zelda games. Well, they also setup a promotion where people that buy two of Nintendo new games could register online to get the disc.

When it comes to video games, I'm really cheap. I buy preplayed games from Blockbuster, pick up old Atari carts at Goodwill, or grab the occasional sale at Fry's. I'd already registered my GameCube, and I picked up the excellent "Mario & Luigi Superstars" game before Thanksgiving, but I didn't think I'd be picking up any of the $50 GameCube games needed to qualify for the disc.

Today, I had an inspiration. I don't have to buy anything, I just needed the code for the website. The code is printed on an insert included with the instructions. Who has lots of open game boxes with instructions on display? Blockbuster. So, during lunch, I made my way to the nearby BBV and used my Treo 600's camera to snap "spy photos" of the codes from two copies of "Mario Cart Double Dash". I just entered one of the codes, and now Nintendo thinks I own the game and my Zelda disc will be dispatched shortly.
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