Unintended ROM code execution

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Unintended ROM code execution is the execution of existing code or data in the ROM of a video game from an access point, via a glitch.

Under normal circumstances ROM execution is one of the main tasks of the hardware's central-processing unit (CPU) in order to process the game's engine.

However, an access point such as a glitch item's effect, a custom map script pointer or a glitch move is a means of running code from the ROM or a rewritable source (arbitrary code execution).

Although the code is in the ROM, executing it may, in addition to events coded by the game developers, lead to unintended behavior due to one or more of the following factors:

  • If the registers are incorrect.
  • If the location is in the middle of the code and/or the game interprets the wrong ASM.
  • If the bank to the function's pointer is wrong.
  • If the location is not a routine (e.g. graphics data).
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