How do I hack a Wii video game?
December 19, 2010 3:12 PM   Subscribe

How do I hack a Wii video game?

I've been playing Goldeneye 007 for the Wii and have noticed that in the online multiplayer some players have some weapons that aren't unlockable until much later in the game. Obviously they have hacked their game and made these unlockables available to them.

My question is how did they do this? I've wanted to learn more about it myself. I'm not sure I'd do it but would want to know just in case.
posted by fiestapais to Technology (8 answers total)
Your statement "much later in the game" doesn't really make sense in terms of Online multiplayer. Goldeneye 007 has a set amount of weapons in the multiplayer that anyone can use in any match.. regardless of where they are in the single-player campaign.
posted by lakerk at 3:41 PM on December 19, 2010

I haven't played Goldeneye on Wii online *that* much, but I'm not sure what you mean by "later in the game" for online multiplayer? The schema of which weapons you can pick from for online play has to do with your experience and rewards for online play--it doesn't matter which level you're playing on. Unless there's a play mode I don't know about.
posted by skynxnex at 3:41 PM on December 19, 2010

I haven't played it on Wii, but on N64, the weapons in the multiplayer were just littered about the level--Doom style. You pick them up, you go shoot people, and that's that.

Perhaps these other players just know where the better weapons are. Did you follow the First Law of the FPS? Learn thy maps!
posted by Netzapper at 3:47 PM on December 19, 2010

It's not obvious that anyone has hacked anything.

If GoldenEye 007 is at all similar to other FPS games on the market, you get advanced weapons by advancing in the single player campaign levels. Therefore, if you haven't gotten very far in the game, you won't have the same weapons available to you that other players have.
posted by MonsieurBon at 4:22 PM on December 19, 2010

from some googling around, people have absolutely hacked golden eye on the wii, but in the places i've looked, they haven't posted their methods, just their results.
posted by nadawi at 5:03 PM on December 19, 2010

Hmm, sorry I wasn't clear. "Later in the game" refers to the leveling up one does in online multiplayer. It takes "XP" points to reach new levels and unlock certain weapons. It's a very long process so it is much "later in the game" that you reach a higher level. You cannot unlock weapons online by completing the single player campaign. They are two completely separate games, if you will.

It is obvious that someone has hacked the game because it is impossible for someone who is level 16 for example to have a gun that is reached at level 56. Hacking is notorious in this game and others like it, e.g. Call of Duty. Also, not only have people hacked weapons, but the leader boards as well. The first 8 or so names at the top of the leader board are level 99s or some other random level. The fact is the game, when played legitimately, stops leveling you up after level 56. Also, they gave themselves like a billion billion XP points, which is also impossible.

My question was about hacking Wii's though, how people do it, what's the process, etc. Just seeing if anyone out there has experience... I guess I'm looking for a more technical answer.
posted by fiestapais at 5:17 PM on December 19, 2010

Okay, so if I were going to attack a Wii game:

Basically, I'd fake a bunch of packets to the server. Which precise packets to fake would require substantial analysis of the data stream during a game. Which would be an extremely tedious process in and of itself.

I'd expect the conversation to be encrypted, but perhaps the implementation is susceptible to a replay attack. This is entirely conceivable, if the programmers were insufficiently paranoid: you basically find a packet that says "I killed Bob", and whether it's encrypted or not, you send a zillion copies of it to the stats-tracking server. That's where I'd start

From there, I'd look into hacking the Wii itself (much more difficult) so that I could piggy-back a program onto the GoldenEye executable. With that executable, it wouldn't matter if the transmissions were encrypted or not, as I could pull them out the buffer after they'd been decrypted. From there, I can tell my Wii to allow me whatever I want.

And, after a few minutes of research, and the hints dropped by the hackers, they seem to be going mainly with the first approach: they're manipulating packets as they pass through the router.

The developers must have chosen a really stupidly trivial encryption scheme.
posted by Netzapper at 5:34 PM on December 19, 2010

Once you have installed homebrew on your Wii, there is a program called Ocarina that makes cheating online trivially easy. Ruins online, if you ask me.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:45 PM on December 19, 2010

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