Nintendo's Iwata Honored with Once-A-Year Unlockable Switch Game

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

The beloved Nintendo company president Satoru Iwata passed away in 2015. Since then, fans and game developers alike have expressed their appreciation for the man that ushered in gaming innovations such as the Nintendo DS and introduced motion control to games with the Nintendo Wii. Iwata's colleagues at Nintendo are no exception, as players recently discovered an homage to Iwata hidden in the code for the Nintendo Switch console.

The first sign, although at the time console hackers weren't sure what it was, was an emulator for "flog" discovered within the system. A user named Setery on the GBATemp console hacking forums posted a story in late July, albeit with no proof, about returning to his Switch console after putting it down only to discover it was running the NES game Golf. This helped spark a speculative hunt after it was discovered that "flog" was indeed an emulator for Golf, by inquiring minds wanted to know how to get the game to run legitimately and why it was there. Speculation ran rampant, but eventually forum poster Yellows8 discovered the answer by analyzing the code and they discovered the game is a shrine of sorts to Iwata.

Golf will play on July 11 only, the date of Iwata's passing, and console owners can't trick it by manually setting the date. If a Switch console has ever accessed the internet, it knows the real date. Players must then motion Iwata's signature bow from his Nintendo Direct appearances while holding the controllers. The console will say a voice clip of Iwata saying, "chokusetsu," a phrase he often started the Nintendo Direct streams with and translates to "directly."

The 1984 Golf game was created by Iwata during his time at HAL Laboratory. Some have surmised that even if Switch owners never discovered Golf's existence on the console, it still serves its purpose as an omamori, or good luck charm.

Source: Kyle Orland at Ars Technica

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