Twilight hack

From the Nintendo Wiki, a wiki covering all things Nintendo
Jump to navigationJump to search

It has been requested that at least one image be uploaded for this article. Remove this notice only after the additional image(s) have been added.

The Twilight hack is the name given to the exploit found by Team Twiizers of in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess that allows users to run unofficial homebrew software from an SD Card, if one has been inserted into the Wii. This is the first method used to boot homebrew software without the use of hardware modifications to the Wii console.

The hack exploits a buffer overflow error caused by loading a specially crafted save file for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. "Twilight Princess" save files store the name of Link's horse in the game (originally "Epona"). The save file used by the hack presents a much longer name than the game would expect. As a result, the excess characters in the horse's name overwrite a portion of the game's program in memory with a special loader program, causing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess to crash as it runs the loader program. When the loader program runs, any program that is placed in the root directory of the SD card, with the filename "boot.elf" or "boot.dol", can be run.

Numerous applications have been written that can be run using this method. Because the hack loads an application through a glitch in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the game originally had to be loaded whenever the user wished to run a homebrew application. Certain programs have been made to install custom Wii Menu channels, such as the Homebrew Channel, so that the applications can be run directly from the Wii Menu instead of through the Twilight hack.

Nintendo's response[edit]

On June 16, 2008, Nintendo released 3.3 update which automatically deletes and prevents the further storage of the unauthorized save files.[1]

However, within six hours of the update's release, community members found two bugs in the update that in conjunction can allow a slightly modified Twilight hack to operate and have released a new version of the hack that work for Wiis with the 3.3 update.[2] A release for 3.4 firmware was later released for the general public to be able to run the Twilight hack, even though each time the Wii boots it will delete the 'hacked' save file from the system memory. However, this does not prevent users from copying the file from the SD card to the system memory back each time the Wii is turned on and running the exploit without restarting the Wii first.

System Menu 4.0 blocks any version of the hack from being copied.[3]


  1. ^ Miller, Ross (June 15, 2008). "New Wii menu update 3.3 nullifies Twilight Princess hack". Joystiq (Wayback Machine, Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  2. ^ bushing (June 16, 2008). "June 16 Wii update". HackMii. Retrieved October 24, 2022.
  3. ^ March 26, 2009. "Wii System Menu 4.0 Update Breaks Twilight Hack, Homebrew Channel Survives". Code Retard (Wayback Machine, Retrieved October 24, 2022.