Invisible Penguins Crash Paper Mario

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It’s been theorized for some time that NPCs could be used to help less important objects function properly, and that principle has finally been proven. Best of all, it helped explain a game crash that long puzzled us!

Most menu storage glitches crash Nintendo 64, and are by no means limited to the scarf and bucket menus shown here. On the Virtual Console versions, we can bring the storage through other rooms, likely thanks to emulation differences or the improved hardware. The only effect I’ve stumbled across is exclusive to shops or areas that spawn coin counters. It’s possible to incorrectly draw icon sprites because of the menu systems “overlapping” so to speak.

But the real glory inspiring this video is the Letter to Mayor Penguin. It sits atop a stump hidden beneath a few branches, and pops off the tree stump when struck with the hammer. Collecting the letter high enough in the air crashes the Nintendo 64. Yep, that’s it. It’s arguably the easiest game-crashing glitch known. Due to NPC positions guiding the letter’s path off the tree, there’s a script that is mapping their relative positions each frame. Interrupt it before the penguin is teleported offscreen, and the script fails once the item acquisition text is closed. A null pointer value is the culprit behind the crash.

Shoutouts to Clover for creating Star Rod, a tool that helped us gather evidence when troubleshooting this crash!
‌• Clover’s Channel:

Mov_Mario_Paper verified the penguins indeed exist in this room. Check out his channel here:
‌• Mov_Mario_Paper’s Channel:

Alex helped make those same penguins visible for some of the clips in this video, so be sure to support him over at:
‌• Alex’s Social Media:

If you’d like to stay updated, check out my Facebook, Twitter & Twitch:
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Video intro and border designed by TheSneakySpy:
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I have a license to use Nintendo’s content in this video through the Nintendo Creators Program. This video is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, but any advertising revenue from this video will be shared with Nintendo.

49 COMMENTS

  1. Next you're gonna tell me they use Kolorados to guide you along ziplines… wait…

    Btw, this video was all thanks to Star Rod. If you would like to join our discord to learn more about the program, you can join here: https://discord.gg/jcvZqZA

    Thanks for watching 🙂

  2. So basically, in simpler terms, the game crashes because you picked up the letter before the penguin disappeared. There's a system that automatically teleports the letter to said penguin every frame. Since you picked up the letter before the animation was finished, the system wants to place the letter where the penguin is, but can't because the letter is no longer in the area, but in Mario's inventory, so the game doesn't know what to do and crashes.

  3. Stryder. I want you to just.. Think about this title. That's what I want. I want you to sit down. And think about this title. And how insane it sounds.

  4. Next episode:
    Looking at Paper Mario for exactly 49 years, 11 months, 22 days, 17 hours, 9 minutes, and 37 seconds…

    Is a waste of time. Thought it would crash Paper Mario?

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