Nintendo has never been shy about using nostalgia to enhance its products. With such a robust and lengthy history of properties and games to draw from, Nintendo fans have seen plenty of retro-inspired elements over the years from classic Mario running along the screen when making a purchase in the Wii Shop Channel to classic NES gameplay sections in 2017’s Super Mario Odyssey. Another form of nostalgia was found earlier this year, when fans discovered that a playable version of the classic NES game, Golf, was hidden and playable only on July 11, the date that former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata passed away.
Unfortunately, with the latest firmware update for the Nintendo Switch, the line of code for accessing Golf has been overwritten, which renders the game unplayable. According to Switch homebrewers, the code has been added to purposely prevent the game from launching with manual attempts at launching even resulting in error messages.
Part of the oddly specific requirements to access this Easter Egg was that an older version of the Nintendo Switch console was needed. On July 11, after players performed Iwata’s signature Nintendo Direct sign-off gesture with the Joy-Con controllers, the Switch would boot up the classic game with motion controls enabled. The idea of classic video games being updated to support motion controls no doubt gave Switch fans hope that Nintendo would continue this policy moving forward.
With all these factors combined, many fans took this to be a hidden intentional tribute to Satoru Iwata, the beloved former President of Nintendo and original programmer of the NES game. However, Nintendo not only refused to comment on the discovery, the company remained outright cagey on the subject when asked about it by the media. Considering that the company has now outright removed the game entirely from the system, it would appear that Nintendo never planned for this Easter Egg, or perhaps at least not so soon. It’ll be interesting to see if this game makes a reappearance down the road under Nintendo’s terms, possibly alongside the eventual launch of its premium online service.