If you have a Nintendo Switch, we have some good news for you. There is an NES emulator embedded in it along with the NES game Golf. The bad news is that it is only unlockable on a specific date and through specific hand motions. Why? As a poignant tribute to former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata.
What started as a confused post on GBATemp by user Setery has led hackers to delve deeper into the Switch code. User yellow8 found a 'Flog' directory in the code and posted about it on the hack site SwitchBrew, but at the time, he said he was only able to run the emulator through hacked means and was not able to find a legitimate way to unlock it.
Other hackers joined in with yellow8 trying to determine how to unlock the game and emulator. After much work, yellow8 was finally able to update the SwitchBrew wiki on Tuesday with the "official" findings.
Apparently, the game, which was programmed by Iwata, is designed only to work on July 11, the day of his death in 2015. Users cannot fake the date because once the Switch is hooked to the internet, it learns the official date and will recognize any modifications to it. However, the date is only half the battle. Players must then use the Joy-Cons to recreate a simple gesture that Iwata used numerous times during his frequent Nintendo Direct appearances.
Once the Flog emulator is officially launched, a sound byte of Iwata plays where he says “Chokusetsu," from the phrase “Chokusetsu Otodokeshimasu," which Iwata said at the beginning of each of his Nintendo Direct presentations. The phrase translates to "We will deliver (news) to you directly.”
With the nature of the embedded emulator and the elaborate nature of the time and gestures needed to unlock, it is obvious that Nintendo meant this as a proper tribute to a man who led the company to unprecedented popularity during his tenure. It is unclear if Nintendo was ever going to officially announce it, perhaps allowing its industrious fans the privilege of uncovering the hidden gem.
Either way, Golf and the emulator are there and players now know how to unlock it. Come July 11 next year, players will be able to enjoy 18 holes on Nintendo.
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