Hackers shared their discovery of a NES emulator hidden away on Nintendo Switch earlier this week, that is referred to as “Flog” on the system. When successfully accessed it allows users to play Golf, a sports-sim that Nintendo had released way back in 1984.
The secret game was a peculiar find, especially as Nintendo had even gone to great lengths to implement motion control support. But, with a little more poking around, the requirements to unlock it have been uncovered, revealing what we can now recognise as a heartfelt tribute to late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata.
Switchbrew has revealed that Golf can be launched when both Joy-Con are detached, placed in each hand, and the user performs the ‘Direct’ hand gesture as Iwata had done in Nintendo Direct presentations.
The only wider restriction is that the game can only be played on July 11th, which is the day that Iwata passed away in 2015.
If that wasn’t enough of a clear indication that the hidden game is a respectful nod to the late Nintendo president, then a “chokusetsu (ちょくせつ)” sound bite is our last hint. Iwata will be fondly remembered for emphasising the Japanese word, which translates to “direct,” when motioning the gesture.
Golf was one of the first projects that Iwata had worked on at Nintendo, on which he had been the only programmer.
8-4 senior associate producer Justin Epperson noted that those in Japan were calling it an “omamori.” He explains: “In Japanese culture omamori are bought at shrines for various reasons, if you keep one close to you it will protect you or give luck. So the idea is Nintendo imbedded Iwata’s game to watch over every unit. That man was loved.”
For those that have cast doubt on the whole thing, YouTube user fire3element has demonstrated how it all works in a video below: