It seems not even the latest entry in the Super Mario series is safe from hackers these days. Recently an online stage in Super Mario Odyssey known as “Luigi’s Balloon World” had inappropriate and pornographic images inserted into the balloons.
The whole point of this stage is that it’s basically a scavenger hunt to find another player’s balloon. They replaced the normal character icons with disgusting images, and suffice it to say–parents are not having it. Many parents took to social media to express their displeasure, as many children play this game. Some even stated they will be turning off the online features of their kids’ Switch till this is fixed.
Apparently, the hackers found a workaround that lets them access developer features that are not supposed to be viewed by the general public. They used this tool to overwrite the code and input whatever images they wanted.
Parents respond online:
Social media users, of course, were the first to spot the so-called prank and warn parents. The first one to draw attention to it was a Reddit user named ewaison. He had the following to say on Reddit: “The picture was changed several times over the course of my time patrolling, each picture being pornographic content. There are multiple of these balloons all being made by the same user. This is obviously intentional and made to upset children. While we wait for Nintendo to offer better parental controls, I am taking my child’s switch offline and I encourage others to do so with me.”
Luckily, the issue was solely limited to this online stage. Can you imagine if they were able to affect non-online stages? Lots of children do play this game, and this is something they shouldn’t have to be exposed to, prank or not. Additionally , this hack occurred because of a piece of software known as DevMenu. This basically was a tool designed just for Switch developers.
Because it has now fallen into the wrong hands, this is what happens. Hopefully, no more titles will be hacked now as a result of this software being out in the open, but who knows? So far, there has been no official comment from Nintendo about this particular hack. The Nintendo Switch released worldwide back in 2017.
Tarah Bleier is a freelance writer, editor and content creator from Toronto. As a graduate from Centennial College’s Journalism program, she has written for Tribute.ca, and Factinate.com and recently for Geek Enthusiast Magazine. In her free time, she loves gaming, cosplaying, prop making and attending as many conventions and geeky events as she can. Writing has always been a passion of hers and she has been a contributing writer of The Planet Observer for many years before becoming its Assistant Editor last year. Her work can also be seen on The Geekcast Radio Network where she has been a podcast host and writer.