In a bizarre series of random events, a Nintendo Switch owner’s pet fish gained access to an online store account and topped it up with a credit card. The crime was captured on video during a live broadcast without the presence of the owner of the fish. Hundreds of spectators watched as the little fish stole its owner’s identity until he was gone.
The heist originally started as an experiment to see if the fish could complete Pokémon Scarlet and Violet without help. To do this, Japanese YouTuber Mutekimaru installed a webcam aimed at the aquarium. A motion capture program followed the fish as it swam through a superimposed grid of controller inputs. If the fish stopped or changed direction, the corresponding input from the controller was registered in the game.
Mutekimaru had already done this experiment before. In 2020, his fish successfully completed the challenge, finishing Pokémon Sapphire in about 3,195 hours – something an active player could do in about 30 hours. However, this time things did not go as planned.
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The identity theft occurred when Mutekimaru was not present on the broadcast. The game went smoothly, the fish won several battles. At 1144 hours, the game crashed, but the system continued to register input data from the fish.
In the end, the fish called up the Nintendo eShop twice and quite by accident performed the correct input sequence to add ¥500 (about $4) to the host’s credit card account. She also disclosed his credit card information to everyone who watched the broadcast.
The little rascal then managed to use some of Mutekimaru’s prize points to buy a new avatar, download an N64 emulator, get PayPal to send him an installation confirmation email, and change his Nintendo account name from Mutekimaru to ROWAWAWAWA¥. Rybka played for a total of seven hours, first of all it was possible to turn off the system.
Mutekimaru contacted Nintendo, explained what happened, and asked for a refund of his ¥500. Surprisingly, Nintendo granted the request. Overall, the event went without a loss, except for 10 points for the avatar.
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