Do you remember the thrill of having two rooms in a row in a row while playing Game Boy? Tetris? It made you want to run out and buy a lottery ticket. Now imagine the feeling if Tetris served an endless buffet of coins in a straight line – this could be the greatest video game hack of all time.
Twitter ”stacking‘came to our attention after reverse engineering and Nintendo game and watch renaissance hack a day before its official release, then quickly find out how to do it play other Nintendo games natively including THE Legend of Zelda and Pokemon. More recently, he has focused on hacking the original Game Boy, and even finding a way to turn your handheld into a Bitcoin mining device– although very, very slow.
Free money is cool, but the latest stacksmashing hack fulfills a fantasy everyone who has ever played Tetris secretly hosted. But instead of modifying the game cart itself, the hack cleverly exploits Game Boy Tetris’ multiplayer mode that relied on the Game Link Cable accessory to physically link two consoles together. (The Game Boy came out long before Bluetooth and wifi made wireless connectivity easy and fast.)
After reverse engineering how two Game Boys communicate over the Game Link cable by sniffing the traffic going both ways, he found out that the Game Boy that started multiplayer Tetris sent a copy of any random coins that needed to be discarded making sure each player had the same gaming experience. Using custom hardware similar to what allowed them to mine Bitcoin on a Game Boy, including a Raspberry Pi Pico, he was able to write a program that only sent tetrominoes in a straight line (the official name of the assortment of Tetris forms) to a Game Boy in multiplayer Tetris mode, which makes it incredibly easy to play the most satisfying game of Tetris imaginable.
Finally, stacksmashing hopes to leverage its new understanding of how the Game Link cable works and its custom circuit boards that allow it to connect to a standard USB port to create an adapter that allows multiplayer Game Boy titles to be played over the internet with anyone on earth, instead of someone sitting a few feet away from you.