Word got around this weekend that there may be an emulator that runs the 1984 Nintendo Entertainment System game Golf coded into Nintendo’s new Switch console, and that it’s been modified to be played with motion controls — but only on July 11th, the day in 2015 when former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata passed away.
While none of this has (yet) been confirmed by Nintendo, enough video (including one posted by the BBC today) of Golf running on the Switch (via a hidden NES emulator called “flog”) has surfaced to suggest there’s some truth to the tales.
Devs who are familiar with Iwata’s legacy as a game developer may appreciate the choice of Golf, as it was a game he coded himself while working with Nintendo at HAL Laboratory in the ’80s.
The method by which Switch owners reportedly unlock the game on July 11th is also a tribute to Iwata; specifically, the habit he had of raising his open hands in front of him and pushing them towards the camera while appearing in Nintendo Direct videos.
“I simply put both Joy-cons parallel to each other and pointed towards the ground, then raised them in a vertical position and waited, the screen turned blank, an audible cue was played, and then I was greeted with the Golf menu,” a source who claimed to get this to work told Kotaku. The person said they were using a new Switch which hadn’t been connected to the Internet, which allowed them get around the reported July 11th date requirement.
Yesterday, 8-4’s Justin Epperson took to Twitter from Japan to report that many people in the country were calling this hidden tribute a kind of omomori, the Japanese charms meant to provide protection and good fortune.