Shark Week on GR is about sharks and games (and not at all about riding on the caudal fin of the Discovery Channel’s popularity). So what the hell could be a better way to celebrate sharks and games than by featuring the GAMESHARK. Just look at it, it has both words right there.
If you’ve been hiding in an underwater cave for the past 20 years and need a primer, cheating devices like the GameShark work by modifying bits of memory or code in games. Some players stick to the standard, published codes which offer practical gameplay modifications like invincibility and infinite ammo. Those people are boring, and not very shark-like at all. The true fun of the GameShark is in messing with untested codes for the most absurd results possible. Granted, most of the time custom codes just break the game, turning it into an existential exploration of colors and falling off cliffs, but that’s just part of the charm.
We’ll keep it short and sweet, which is also how a shark would describe your limbs, and our exploration will focus primarily on the N64 version of the GameShark, for the obvious reason that the N64 is gray, which is also the color of SHARKS.
Being an N64 launch title, and one of the first 3D free-roaming platformers, Mario 64 was pretty easy to break. In researching this feature, we wanted to find some silly videos of all the nonsense that could be achieved in the game...we found so much more. One YouTube user has not only uploaded 22 videos of Mario 64 GameShark modifications, he’s narrated many of them, voicing all of the characters himself. See for yourself:
We think his work is brilliant, and the enjoyment he clearly received from making these videos is strangely contagious. We couldn’t stop at just one:
The GameShark not only enabled Mario to poop coins, it actually helped fans discover hidden content in games. The most famous example is in the Dam level of Goldeneye 007, which contains a hidden island of mystery and intrigue and a couple of bland, concrete buildings.
Above: There’s not much on it, but hey, cool right?
The popular story is that the developers had intended to include a ferry which would take players to the island, but ran out of time. They left the island intact, and with no-clipping mode on, we can walk like Jesus to its mysterious shores.